2020 Vigne Surrau, Sciala, Vermentino di Gallura Superiore DOCG, Sardinia, Italy.
The Surrau 2020 Sciala Vermentino di Gallura is nicely balanced with zesty details and a rounded and pleasing texture, it is layered with rich stone fruit and racy citrus, making for tasty white wine that goes with everything from oysters to lemon chicken. There is bright peach, melon, tropical fruit, green apple, lemon and fig to enjoy with a burst of zingy acidity, a touch of wet stone flinty notes, a light floral bouquet and delicate bitterness that cuts perfectly into the ripe textural quality. Gallura, which means “stony area”, was the first and is only Sardinian DOCG, is set on granite-based soils that gives these wines their mineral focus, while the Mediterranean climate provides lush ripeness and a salty freshness. The Vermentino di Gallura DOCG wines are some of the finest white wines in Europe, but still somehow remain undiscovered and way under the radar! The Demuro family founded the Surrau winery in 2001 and have become one of the better names to look for with a collection of wines that are focused on purity and terroir, which this this wine shows. There nothing out of the ordinary here, nothing fancy, just good grapes, grown with sustainable methods, that winemaker Mariolino Siddi ferments and ages in stainless steel. Siddi gives this 100% Vermentino a brief skin contact before a temperature controlled fermentation that takes place in stainless-steel tanks where the wine continues to be in contact with its lees for about six months. After aging the wine is racked and lightly filtered, then it is bottled and rested another month in the cellars before its release. The Sciala comes from 20 year old vines, which change depending on the vintage to create the best expression as possible, set on sandy soils with an underpinning of weathered granite at an altitude of 100 meters, which allows for loads of sea influence and a warm nature, which comes through in this wine

Located in Porto Cervo, in Arzachena, on the Island of Sardinia, Vigne Surrau is a new producer to me and I tasted through their exciting range of red and white wines, finding them all delicious and expressive bottlings, with this Sciala Vermentino and their entry level 100% Grenache Naracu Cannonau di Sardegna DOC really standing out for quality and value, the range of Vermentinos here go from bright and fresh to deep and luxurious, with this one having a fine balance in between. Sardinia is in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea and is Italy’s second largest island, after Sicily, it is a rugged and remote mountainous place that has bred a tough and independent people that have a long and proud history both as a civilization and as a wine producing nation, maybe Europe’s oldest, well before becoming part of the Italian republic in the 1860s. The terroir on Sardinia is a unique mix of rocky and deep sandy soils that are surrounded by unspoiled wilderness, and as the winery notes, oak and cork tree forests and a thorny scrubland of herbs and cacti known as the macchia mediterranea. In stark contrast to the harsh interior, the island has over 1,200 miles of jagged coastline, which is home to some of the most pristine beaches of the Mediterranean, which the locals have to share with the rich and famous that keep building holiday villas. In one of these spectacular coastal settings is Costa Smeralda or the Emerald Coast, which is located in the northeast corner of the island, it is home to the largest and most important wine zone in Sardegna, this is the Gallura zone, famous mostly for Vermentino. I’m itching to visit Sardinia and really explore the wine growing areas, I mean who isn’t? Until then I will enjoy as many different wines from here as I can. That said, I am certain I’ll enjoy this Surrau Sciala bottling many more times, it is a delicious and expressive lightly golden Vermentino that captures a sense of place, it is also nicely priced and I recommend it to those that have had enough of boring New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs!
($28 Est.) 90 Points, grapelive

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