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Monday, July 25, 2016

Show-Stopping Vino for Summer

                         A glass of Vermentino in Sardenia with local pecorino & prosciutto

Robert Parker may have his point system, but the authoritative source on Italian wine uses “glasses” (as in wine glasses) to designate its top wines.  Gambero Rosso, a rather famous Italian journal that rates the hedonistic pleasures of food and wine, offers a one glass, two glass, or three glass award every year to the country’s top wines.    Below are the Gambero Rosso’s awards for Vermentino, one of my favorite varietals from Italy for summer-time drinking on any continent.

Before I unveil the 2016 super-star Vermentinos, just a little background on how the wines are selected.   A star-studded panel of 60 wine-expert judges review annually >25,000 wines from about 2,400 wineries across Italy’s 21 wine regions.  All wines are blind tasted.  The very best of the best are given the three glass award.  The three glass award is a very big deal for a winery as it singles out the wine as one of the very best in Italy.  Not surprisingly, some of these wines can be quite expensive.  Vermentino, however, is not.  Most of these luscious white are around $20.

Many of the 3 glass Vermentino come from the island of Sardenia where this varietal reaches its pinnacle in granite-based soils.  These are worth seeking-out:

  • Vermentino di Gallura Canayli (2014) by Cantina Gallura
  • Vermentino di Gallura Superiore Maia (2014) by Siddura
  • Vermentiono di Gallura Superiore Monteoro (2014) by Tenute Sella & Mosca
  • Vermentino di Gallura Superiore Sciala (2014) by Vigne Surrau
  • Vermentino di Sardegna Stellato (2014) by Pala

The hills of the Italian mainland facing Sardenia (not far from jet-setting village of Portofino) also produces killer Vermentino.  Here are the three glass winners from this area:
  • Colli di Luni Vermentino 2011, Costa Marina, by Lambruschi
  • Colli di Luni Vermentino 2011, Etichetta Nera, by Lunae Bosoni

Don't miss Vermentino this summer!

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