Guardian Says Vermentino a Contender for the Sauv Blanc Throne


Yesterday, The Guardian reporter Fiona Beckett threw down the corkscrewed gauntlet by claiming that Italian grape Vermentino is a legitimate threat to the long-standing reign of beloved white wine Sauvignon Blanc.
“Sauvignon Blanc has had an unbreakable grip on wine drinkers' affections for so long that you wonder what it will take to dislodge it,” Beckett wrote. “Varieties like riesling, pinot gris and viognier are periodically touted but I just don't see it happening”
What Beckett does see happening is the emergence of the Italian dark horse.
“I have a hunch that there's one wine that could do it: vermentino, which is produced mainly in Sardinia, Corsica and Provence,” she wrote. “In fact I drank scarcely anything else when I visited the Porto Cervo wine festival in Sardinia in May.” 
According to Beckett, the wine is more playful than a Picpoul or Pinot Grigio, it's a little more manageable than Sauvignon Blanc and it goes great with many foods. 
“Above all, it's pronounceable, which makes it easy to remember when you're scanning a wine list or a supermarket shelf,” she said, going as far as to say this explains part of the popularity of Prosecco.
Beckett then went on to recommend five different Vermentinos: a quartet from Sardinia and one wine from Provence. 
Her first recommendation was Nord Est's 2014 Vermentino di Sardegna. She said the wine should be served well-chilled and “is a good introduction to the crisp, slightly saline Sardinian style.” Santadi's 2014 Villa Solais is also a good bottle, she said. 
Next on the list was the 2013 Is from Argiolas, whose Vermentino is “rich,” “delicately peachy” and a “terrific buy.” 
She then went on to Capichera, a winery in Sardinia who creates “an interesting late harvest style, which is not sweet, as that description usually indicates, but intense and complex” that has been aged in oak: the VT 2012 Vendemmia Tardiva.
The wine, she said, “shows that vermentino can be powerful enough to partner roast meats.” 
Beckett then moved her recommendations away from Italy's Sardinia and moved to France's Provence, where the grape is known as “rolle,” she wrote. 
Beckett said the wine “tends to be smoother and creamier” and that “if you shut your eyes you could be drinking a Provence rosé; unsurprisingly, as they often contain a little vermentino.”
Her French recommendation was Chataeau de Barbanau's Cotes de Provence, which she said was “a well-priced alternative to Cassis” and was “pretty” and “fragrant”. 
Photo Credit: Pixabay

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