Fava beans are a marker for the arrival of spring (just like tomatoes mark the start of summer), and their appearance at the market lifts my spirits. No wine says springtime as much as Vermentino, and it is the white I propose for drinking alongside Richard and Chris’s Fresh Fava Bean Purée. Other dry whites and rosés will work, too, but there is a magic created by the Vermentino. Coincidentally, we have some of the finest Vermentinos our planet produces. By the way, Pigato is a branch of the Vermentino family. It has freckled skins. Bon appétit!
There’s not much to complain about during winter in the Bay Area, but even on a sunny 59-degree day I occasionally catch myself daydreaming of the balmy scent of a warm Mediterranean breeze. Uncorking a bianco from Punta Crena always gets the job done, and the first fragrant whiff of juicy lemon, dried herbs of the Ligurian brush, and sea spray is enough to eradicate the mild discomfort of being slightly underdressed on an unseasonably warm winter evening. They say wine is liquid sunshine, so why not choose the radiant sunshine from the Mediterranean coast, courtesy of this lively Vermentino.
This is a magnificent Vermentino. It leaps out of the glass, happy to realize its destiny. And it has an unusually suave, mellow texture. Think cashmere. Bizarre—there are a lot of stones in the vineyard, but in the wine they turn to cashmere.
This Vermentino-based blend hails from the noble terroir of Gallura, a complex mosaic of chalky, fossil-rich limestone and decomposed granite in the stark, windswept mountains of northern Sardinia. A field blend featuring other indigenous varieties such as Nasco, Malvasia, Moscato, and Arvesiniadu, Prama Dorada digs back deep into the island’s past, giving us an idea of what Sardinian whites might have resembled before modern enology introduced techniques like commercial yeast inoculation and sterile filtration. Full-bodied, fleshy, slightly cloudy, and packed with alluring scents of wild herbs and flowers, this saline beauty has a place alongside the great wines of Arena and Abbatucci among the most compelling whites of the Mediterranean.
As Antoine slowly and methodically passes the torch to his two able sons, Antoine-Marie and Jean-Baptiste, he continues to make a few wines from his favorite parcels under his own label. I believe this will be the last dry white from the Carco vineyard bottled under Antoine’s name. Carco is made from Vermentino grown on the principal geological feature of Patrimonio, an enormous cresting wave of limestone that separates the village from the ocean. We here at KLWM don’t know of a better terroir for Vermentino anywhere in the world.
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