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Sunday, April 15, 2012

Voluptuous Vermentino

                                       Aga Khan's Hotel Pitrizza, Sardenia

I’ve written about this varietal on several occasions in this BLOG.  I can’t help it that I’m in love with this Italian white wine from the west coast of Northern Italy.  Spring has sprung and Vermentino is one of the perfect ways to celebrate its arrival.

Although it was a few decades ago, I still remember by first glass of Vermentino that I had on U.S. soil---I was dining in Carmel at Casanova’s (then and still now one of Wine Spectator’s top wine lists in the country.)   That particular Vermentino was from the island of Sardenia (located off the Tuscan coast).  One sip and I was instantly transported back to the outrageously gorgeous resort on Sardenia’s Emerald Coast built by the Aga Khan---without a doubt one of the most special places I've ever been.  I immediately ordered several cases of the wine, Costamolino by Argiolas.  Our cellar, today, is never without a couple of cases of this Vermentino.

While Sardenia is the epicenter for the some of the best production of Vermentino,  it’s also made on the Italian mainland.  The French make it on Corsica as well as and the French mainland (where it is called “rolle.”)   Think understated elegance…citrus laced with layers of apples and pears…nicely balanced with good acidity.

Unfortuantely, most folks can’t spell or even pronounce this wine (Vir men teen o).  That’s one reason the price remains low---supply and demand.  You can pick up a good bottle for under 20 bucks…much cheaper than a $1,500 room at the Pitrizza.  Those of you traveling to the Italian Riviera this Fall with Wine-Knows can be assured that Vermentino will be on the dinner table.

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