In today’s post we’ll take a closer look at the hilly coastal region of Liguria in northwestern Italy which boasts some of the country’s finest food like the world famous pesto genovese, Liguria’s tasty basil pesto. The region is also home to stunning white and sweet wines which are often overlooked. Wine from the Gulf of Poets is at the center of today’s article.
Last week, I gave you an overview of the region and its most important appellations. In the second post of this series, it is all about tasting notes.
During my trip to Liguria I had the pleasure of tasting many local wines and the opportunity to visit vineyards and wineries in person. Below you find my tasting notes for wines from Verment Ing, Arrigoni and Cantina 5 Terre.
The wines from the small winery Verment ing near Bonassola were a great discovery. Verment ing has a few hectares of vineyard area in Reggimonti at about 400 meters above sea level from which they source a wine called Terre di Reggimonti and a second vineyard in Montaretto at 150 meters above sea level whose grapes are used to produce the Terre del Salice. Both wines come from the same set of grapes: Albarola, Bosco and Vermentino. Fermentation and aging takes places in stainless steel tanks.
2015 Verment ing – Terre del Salice – Colline di Levanto DOC
Intense, yellow color with golden hues in the glass.
Rich and intense nose with aromas of passion fruit, elder flowers and lemons
On the palate, sapid, juicy and mouthwatering. Notes of ripe fruit and a hint of herbs. Very harmonic.
Terre del Salice is well-balanced and pairs well with a number of dishes. Good length.
13% ABV. Retails for €7 at the winery if you buy a full case.
2015 Vermenting – Terre di Reggimonti – Colline di Levanto DOC
The nose opens with honey melon and apricot, and followed by acacia and Mediterranean herbs.
In the mouth, crisp and light-bodied. Mature yellow fruit is strongly present. Medium-long aftertaste.
Terre di Reggimonti is a perfect “hot-weather” wine. Light, fresh and easy to drink.
12% ABV. Retails for €7 at the winery if you buy a full case.
Arrigoni is large, family-owned winery which has seven estates in Liguria and Tuscany, spread out from the Cinque Terre up to San Gimignano. I tasted one of the wineries Colli di Luni Vermentino and one of their Cinque Terre blends.
2014 Arrigoni – La Quarta Terra – Colli di Luni Vermentino DOC
This is varietal Vermentino from Arrigoni’s vineyards in the border-region between Liguria and Tuscany.
Flat nose with a few floral and herbal aromas.
In the mouth, the wine seems tired, almost stale. Off-balanced. It has an alcoholic aftertaste. Decent length. Rather disappointing.
12.5% ABV. Retails for about €9 in Liguria.
2014 Arrigoni – La Quarta Terra – Cinque Terre DOC
Airrogni’s Cinque Terre DOC is a blend of Albarola, Bosco and Vermentino.
The nose has a good intensity. It has aromas of ripe mango, acacia flowers and Mediterranean herbs.
In the mouth, the fruits and herbs from the nose are recalled. Good length.
Retails for €12 in Liguria.
Cooperativa di Riomaggiore
The cooperativa di Riomaggiore, commonly known as Cantina 5 Terre, produces excellent wines in the Cinque Terre. The grapes are supplied by dozens of small grape growers who work the terraces on the cliffed coast. It was founded to make wine-making in the area profitable again.
2011 Cantina 5 Terre – Sciacchetrà Cinque Terre DOC
A Sciacchetrà is a sweet wine produced by air-drying Bosco, selected Albarola and Vermentino grapes for about two months. This Sciacchetrà underwent fermentation with partial maceration and aged in barrique for three years.
In the glass the wine has an amber color with chestnut hues.
Very powerful, intense nose which shows immediately the outstanding over-all quality of the wine. A play of hazelnut, toffee, candid oranges, wax, figs and chestnut honey. Triple wow!
On the palate, the wine continues to be mind-blowing with a perfectly balanced sweetness, a mouthwatering acidity and creamy, very complex texture. Medium-bodied and mineral. Notes of figs and chestnut honey recall the aromas from the nose. Persistently, never-ending finish. World class!
13.5% ABV. 0.375 liters bottle. Retails for €45 in Liguria.
This concludes the second post in my series on Ligurian wines. I’m curious, have you tried wine from Liguria and the Gulf of Poets before?