This flight pairs two of Italy’s well-known white grapes. Vernaccia from Tuscany and Vermentino from the island of Sardegna. Classically the Vernaccia has been described as crisp and full of minerality while the Vermentino was known for its broader, almost flat feel on the palate. Yet with better viticulural practices, reductive winemaking and temperature control, white wines in Italy are generally evoking more fruit and claiming the mantle of freshness. Let’s see what these two show us side by side.
Casa Alle Vacche Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG I Macchioni 2006
Clean almost tropical fruit and crisp. Very nice. In May ’08 this wine is evolving though still fruity and still quite crisp. Vernaccia as well as a bit of other undisclosed varieties (10% are permitted in the DOCG zone) grown at an elevation of 210-280 metres. This is the estate’s middle tier Vernaccia. Bot. by the Ciappi family in San Gimignano 13% $15.99 at Traverso’s Casa Alle Vacche
Argiolas Vermentino di Sardegna DOC Costamolino 2006
Just one week ago I opened a bottle of this same vintage and noted the smells of sweet fruit and floral notes. The palate is fresh with Viognier-like flavors and a light body. Today again we see this ripeness of fruit in a peachy vein. In May ’08 the richness is even more apparent, a fatness that complements the fruit. 90% Vermentino, 10% other grapes, all grown in the Costamolino vyd. The site 625 ft elevation, clay soil, SW exposure, yield 3 tons per acre, SS ferm, no oak, partial ml, 2.56 g/l RS 13.5% $14 at Traverso’s