2020 Cantina Gallura, Vermentino di Gallura DOCG “Piras” Sardinia, Italy.
Coming from higher elevation vines and granite soils the Piras Vermentino di Gallura is an absolutely pure and stunning example of this Mediterranean Island’s best loved white wine with bright fruit intensity and mineral tones, showing apricot, citrusy tangerine, Kaffir lime and delicate tropical notes along with saline infused stone and orange blossoms. The clarity and precise detailing make this Piras wonderfully compelling and while it only saw a couple of months of aging and lees contact in the cellar it gains a pleasing viscosity and presence on the medium bodied palate making for a wine that can deliver flexibility in cuisine choices as well as being a confident Summer sipper. I’ve been enjoying a deep dive into Sardinian wine lately and have been blown away with the quality and diversity found here and learning the history and the debate on how it (winegrowing) all started here. It was commonly thought the Spanish brought the vines here in the 1300s, but now that is much in doubt with winemaking finds that way predate that, in fact there’s evidence suggesting there was wine production here before the Phoenicians were trading throughout the Mediterranean!

The Cantina Gallura, a co-op, founded in 1956, is located in Tempio Pausania, that currently has 160 producers contributing their grapes, at the foot of the Limbara Mountain in an area of Sardinia that has some conditions that feel like a continuation of the Dolomite Mountains with ancient granite based, sandy soils. While sunny here there are cool Mistral like breezes that give these wines an extra degree of complexity and balance, as this Piras Vermentino di Gallura shows. Cantina Gallura does quite a series of offerings, all terroir driven and made with traditional methods with stainless steel primary fermentations, in most cases, though some whites see a barrel fermentation, and mostly used barrel or cask aging to promote freshness and transparency. The wines of the Gallura have always been prized and now Vermentino di Gallura has a full DOCG, confirming to the world that this one of Italy’s top sites and guarantees an extra degree of quality. Interestingly Cantina Gallura does a sparkling version too, which I hope to try at some point, especially if I get a chance to visit this mysterious and historic island. The winery is mainly known for their 100% Vermentino bottlings, with this Piras being a single cru effort, expressing the nature of the place. Not a wine that we usually see in the states sadly, but one that deserves a search for!
($20 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive

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