Thursday, September 9, 2021

Grape Spotlight: DOC Vermentino di Sardegni and the Argiolas Costamolino

Vermentino is a white wine grape grown in various locations, and under various names, around the western Mediterranean -- most notably in northwestern Italy and the neighboring islands of Corsica and Sardinia. Whereas DOCG Vermentino di Gallura covers Vermentino-based wines from an area at the northern end of Sardinia, Vermentino di Sardegna is a regional DOC covering the island in its entirety.  The DOC was created in February 1988 following a period of consistent quality improvements in Sardinian Vermentino wines.

There is a wide variety of soil types throughout the Vermentino di Sardegna DOC with vineyards found on pockets of limestone and marl. The viticultural areas are dominated by peaks and valleys with the topography creating multiple mesoclimates of which where vineyards thrive. A typical Mediterranean climate is evident with mild, wet winters and hot, sunny summers. The whole island of Sardinia has a high number of days with sunshine, especially in the north with over 300 days per year and a majority of vineyards are found in close proximity to the ocean. This allows prevailing breezes to lower temperatures and help retain acidity. ( 

Argiolas is a winery founded by Antonio Argiolas founded in the late 1930s and today is operated by his grandchildren, the third generation of the family, who work here. They farm five vineyards in southern Sardegna with the winery located near the town of Sibiola. One of these estates is Vigne Vecchie which covers about 40 hectares in the hills near the town of Selegas. It is located on a calcareous and marly hillside (600-700 feet asl) with a strong presence of limestone -- most suitable for white grape varieties like Vermentino.  This is where the grapes for the Costamolino Vermentino di Sardegna DOC ($16) are harvested and after fermentation, aged briefly on lees. This provides a little weight to the bright lemon and grapefruit profile and racy mineral-driven finish. 

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