2019 Vinicola Cherchi, Sparkling Vermentino di Sardegna DOC, Usini, Sardinia, Italy.
Cherchi’s Sparkling Vermentino di Sardegna is luxurious and yeasty with citrus, white peach, mineral and brioche notes leading the way with a nice Brut dry mouthfeel, steely acidity and a touch of almond bitterness keeping things elegant and fresh in the glass, making for a tasty aperitif and a lovely wine for sea foods. The Vermentino here comes from the Usini zone, an area at about 200 meter up with hillside vineyard sites set on calcareous structured limestone soils with clay plus some sand and granite, which brings out a zesty personality and complexity. The crisp palate and energy driven small beading bubbles, which were developed in bottle like Champagne, make this an outstanding value, with additional elements of wet stone, orchard fruits and clove spice this pale straw colored Cherchi Vermentino di Sardegna DOC bubbly keeps your attention to the very last sip.
The grapes come from the Logudoro hills of the Sassari region on Sardinia, with the vines influenced by a mix of those chalky clay soils, the elevation, and the Mediterranean, are hand harvested and carefully sorted and once in the wine cellar, they are 100% de-stemmed, crushed and then gently bladder pressed, as slow and soft as possible. Fermentation is done in tank with selected yeasts at low temperatures, follow by an aging period of 6 months in the stainless steel. Then the wine, made in traditional (non charmat) Classic Method, is re-fermented in the bottle with a low dosage and it matures there for another full 18 months before disgorgement, providing Champagne style class, with a fine balance between fruit and yeasty character. This Mediterranean sparkling wine, something of a rarity, is usually almost only found on Sardinia, but is well worth searching out and trying to find, and if not, then checking out the other wines by Cherchi, a premier estate, founded in 1970, is a great idea, especially their Cannonau and still Vermentino.
($25 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive