MUDGEE – NSW
Mediterranean sunshine in a bottle
We think that James has done really well with to his first ever Vermentino. Fruit was sourced from the First Ridge vineyard in southern Mudgee, and came in nice and healthy in 2018. As is always the case with James, winemaking was a straightforward and low intervention upbringing of great material – some of the juice was fermented 'dirty', and the whole fermented with cultivated yeasts to ensure a bone dry result, but that's about it.
James says: Pineapple. Lime. Crisp. Fresh.
I say: Green pineapples, maybe. Definitely lime, yes, and other citrus fruit, nice appealing Italian-esque bite. A blend of Mediterranean herbs thrown in too. Dry and savoury, 'cool' notes to the nose as well as the palate. This a properly dry white with an appealing texture – a characterful alternative to the avalanche of often bland grigios on the market.
The perfect Mediterranean white wine grows in long stretches of the coast and coastal hinterlands across Spain, France and Italy, and hence, unsurprisingly, comes in many incarnations; from from light to robust, and unoaked to having gone through varying timber treatments. Some are best enjoyed within a year from bottling, whereas others should not be approached before their first birthday.
We look for a reasonably dense core of citrus fruit, and an appealing savouriness, perhaps even an a touch of bitterness to compliment ripe fruit. The better ones should offer notes of savouriness for us, and we’d also happy to find a little bit of chew and texture.
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