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, those that are barely ripe, not sweet overripe ones warmed by sun. Lime, yes, but perhaps even more grapefruit like. Dry and savoury, 'cool' notes to the nose as well as the palate. This a properly dry white, and a characterful alternative to the avalanche of often bland grigios on the market.
The perfect Mediterranean white wine. It grows in long stretches of the coast and coastal hinterlands across Spain, France and Italy, 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.
It needs 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, and I'm also happy to find a little bit of chew and texture.
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