Malcolm Jolley enjoys a rich but crisp white wine from Sardinia.
Writing in this past September, after a trip to Sardinia, the British Über-wine-writer Jancis Robinson had nice things to say about the white wines of the Mediterranean island and the grape they are made from:
The shared characteristic of virtually every wine we tried on the island, especially the Vermentinos, was enjoyment. Varietal Vermentino seems to have so much going for it. It has no shortage of fruit but, generally thanks to fairly early picking, tends to have quite enough acidity to make it a pleasure to drink with or without food.
One of the wines she could well have been describing is currently on the shelves at the LCBO’s Vintages stores, Vigne Surrau ‘Branu’ Vermentino di Gallura DOCG. For a white wine from the center or south of Italy, it’s creeping into a luxury price point at $21.95, but the few extra dollars it costs per bottle are worth it. It’s brought into Ontario by the agent Nicholas Pearce, who (as a Good Food Fighter) has posted about this week as well here . As a markerter Pearce rightly mentions the high ratings and notes from John Szabo MS the Branu Vermentino earned and a note to say it was included in The Wine Enthusiast’s list of “Top 100 Best Buys“. (Here’s a link to it on the LCBO website, so you can find out what stores near you are stocking it.)
Back to Jancis Robinson’s point about the utility of Vermintino like the Branu is the utility of the wine. At our house white wine is often drunk as an aperitif before dinner, or more accurately: as dinner is being made. It’s handy to have a bottle in the fridge that could as easily cover through a light lunch, like an omeltte or quiche, or just drinks before dinner with a few olives. Echoing John Szabo’s notes, the Branu Vermentino has both a good twang (I think lemony) and a good dose of that ethereal adjective minerality, which for me is akin to saltiness. These two qualities have the effect of encouraging the drinker to return to the glass ever so much more frequently. And once there, on the palate, it delivers a round full flavour with just a hint of citrus pith bitterness. There’s a lot going on, and it’s all good.