From €16.93, £23.95
Running late. Just about made it in time for the speeches. Thankfully, not a wedding, but the UK launch of Jancis and Hugh’s brand new wine atlas for contributors and media at Vintners’ Hall in central London on 24 September.
Also, thankfully, there was an array of wines on offer with which to refresh oneself. These certainly celebrated the world of wine, with offerings from places as far afield as Thailand, Russia and India.
And this, Ledda’s Tenuta Matteu Soliànu Vermentino di Gallura Superiore from the 2017 vintage. This was not only the first wine I tasted, but also the one I went back to at the end, just to drink for pleasure.
It was, in fact, my second encounter with this wine, having tasted it back in January. Then I scored it 16. It had some reductive character which has now dissipated and is allowing the core qualities of the wine to shine – and indeed I would score this now 16.5, in line with Julia’s view of the 2016 vintage. As she noted, the wine comes from 12 ha of vines on granite at 400 m (1,310 ft) in the Matteu area of Gallura and was fermented and aged in tank. The Ledda family have two estates, the original one in Meilogu in Logudoro and this second one further north in Matteu.
This is showing the features I associate with fashionable Vermentino, of a ripe lemon character that for me is reminiscent of the zest of a waxed lemon, alongside a clear herbal note – sometimes like lemon thyme, sometimes bay leaf. But this expression, from the variety’s heartland Gallura, is also showing an attractive balance between weight and ripeness, and its lift of acidity.
This mix of distinctiveness, intensity and refreshment is what makes Vermentino (or Rolle, in southern France) such an exciting variety, whether in Gallura – Sardinia’s DOCG for the grape – or in places such as Bolgheri that are also producing very interesting examples. Either way, Soliànu certainly merits its DOCG Superiore status.
Unfortunately, unlike last week's, this wine of the week is not too widely available according to Wine-Searcher.com but you can find it in the UK from £23.95. You can also find it in Italy of course, from €16.93, as well as in Germany.