2022 Cantina del Vermentino-Monti “Funtanaliras” Oro, Vermentino di Gallura DOCG, Sardinia, Italy.
Brought over to the States by my Sardinian sommelier/winemaker friend Giuseppi Cossu, the 2022 ‘Funtanaliras’ Oro Vermentino di Gallura DOCG is a beauty, providing varietal purity and terroir driven character in an expressive and full flavored white wine, which was a perfect companion to a warm afternoon. This bright golden hued all stainless steel, crisply detailed and mineral focused Vermentino is generous in the mouth with apricot, lemon preserves, a touch of green apple and tangerine fruit on the steely medium bodied palate that adds tangy herbs, wet flint, oyster shell and a hint of tropical essences. With air, a fine sense of almond bitterness, sea influenced saline and zingy acidity plays a nice contrasting role to the youthful fruit and keeps an exciting tension in this very desirable wine. Like an Alsatian Riesling, Vermentino is vividly intense, but delivers a surprise in textural rewards, going great with a wide range of cuisine choices, though especially suited to the bounty of the sea. Tasting wines like this one, gives me hope domestic producers keep exploring Vermentino here in California and unlock its potential!

The Cantina (Sociale) del Vermentino-Monti, located in Gallura, Sardinia is a co-op producer that was established after WWII in1956 and now has about 350 members (growers) with winemaker Alberto Raccanelli over seeing the production here, which is one of the most notable quality cooperatives in all of Italy, with this Funtanaliras proving why with a flourish. The Vermentino di Gallura DOCG is the island’s only DOCG, such is the regard for the terroir and the grape here, which Sardinian’s claim as their own, making about 70% of all of Italy’s Vermentino, hence the name of this cooperative, named in honor of this classic varietal. Vermentino is found throughout the Mediterranean region, it is also one of the Chateauneuf du Pape grapes, aka Rolle, and is also planted in Piedmonte, where it is called Favorita, but mostly found in Liguria, Tuscany, Corsica and here in Sardinia. Born is sandy granite based soils, the Vermentino, a mix of early and late picks, is de-stemmed and fermented in temperature controlled vats with this wine seeing exclusively stainless steel aging and no malolactic conversion to hold on to its freshness of form. This wine really over performs, I highly recommend it to my European friends and hope some of it finds its way to the States, grazie Giuseppi for sharing this one with me.
($28 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive

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