2018 Troon Vineyard, Vermentino, Kubli Bench, Applegate Valley AVA, Oregon.
West coast Vermentino is all the rage right now with this Mediterranean grape seeing a real rise in popularity with many wineries producing great examples, including Tablas Creek in Paso Robles, Chesebro and Bonny Doon in Monterey’s Arroyo Seco to name a few, but this Troon Vineyard from Oregon has really done an amazing job with theirs from the southern Oregon region of Applegate Valley. The coastal climate conditions suit this varietal and Troon’s is a lovely fresh wine with brisk and crystal clear details and a sublime textural quality, that rivals some of the world’s best versions of Vermentino, like those from Corsica, which are some of the most pure examples you can find, especially the wines of Yves Leccia, Abbatucci and Clos Canarelli, which have elevated Vermentino to very regal territory. Vermentino’s home range goes all along the Mediterranean coast of France and Italy with top wines coming from, as mentioned, Corsica, Sardinia, Tuscany as well as in areas near Provence, the Rhone, where it is one of the legal Chateauneuf du Pape grapes and parts of the Languedoc and beyond where it is sometimes called Rolle as well as in Piedmonte where it is known as Favorita, as it was once favored by an intriguing countess! Troon’s version, an all biodynamic bottling is wonderfully posed in the glass with a lovely minerally personality and vibrantly focused with fresh citrus blossom, liquid stones, tangerine and peach notes, adding a leesy mouth feel and sense of vinous depth without being any but electric and steely dry.
Troon’s winegrower Craig Camp says Vermentino has proven to be ideally suited to the soils and climate of the Applegate Valley, near Grant’s Pass in this unique growing region, adding that the warm, dry summers and the granitic soils give a deeply favored and complex style of wine that he compares to the Sardinia examples, while I see the similarities with the granite intense Corsica terroir. The Vermentno at Troon is a mainstay and in fact they do a few different versions, including an orange skin contact one, much like a Vermentino done by Sonoma’s Ryme Cellars, another outstanding one to look for, also a Vermentino specialist that is exploring this flexible grape that offers richness and good natural acidity. Vermentino is awesome with a vast selection of cuisine and can be an alternative to everything from Sancerre to Gruner Veltliner and or Muscadet to Verdejo. The latest new world Vermentinos are very much an exciting bunch of thrilling whites that deserve your attention, especially this Troon Vineyard with its 12 months on the lees and riveting flavors and refreshing zesty charms. Randall Grahm of California’s Bonny Doon told me a few years ago he saw Vermentino as a potential hero of the future with a warming planet, as it can retain so much lively acidity and is adaptable to a variety of locations and soils, and his is a beauty too, he even has done a sparkling Vermentino. Troon is a world class organic and sustainable estate with an exciting set of wines, some based on Rhone grapes and some others from more exotic stuff like Malbec and Tannat, these are wines to check out, in particular this light gold and crisp Vermentino that is fabulous with sea foods and soft cheeses.
($25 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive