2017 Vermentino (Lodi)
We love all things Italian: motorcycles (a due Ducati family), cars (loved that Alfa, even if it was always wanting tuned), and, of course, wine. In that vein, Vermentino is a fabulous addition to the UL family.
If Vermentino was an automobile, it would undoubtedly be a sleek, white Lamborghini, angular, but with curves enough that it was never austere, and edgy, but still classically beautiful. Originally from Sardinia and Liguria, the French love it, too, with growing interest in Languedoc and Roussillon.
In the glass, Vermentino is full of zippy mineral and citrus notes: lemon zest, wet granite, and a squeeze of grapefruit. While light, crisp, and always refreshing, it never lacks complexity with finishing notes of stone fruit, fresh almond, and salinity.
After a warm dry February that encouraged the vineyard to an early budbreak, Lodi returned
to winter conditions with adequate but not excessive rain—a relief as the vineyard was
flooded by 2016-17’s heavy precipitation. While warm, the region saw reduced sunlight
levels—an effect of Northern California wildfires—that slowed maturation. Vermentino is
typically one of the latest white varieties to be harvested so a warm, dry fall was welcome
From Italy to America, three generations of the Borra family lived la dolce vita with a vineyard on the north bank of the Mokelumne River in Lodi's Clements Hills. It receives an extra dose of cooling breeze from San Francisco Bay to produce grapes with fresh, zingy aroma and flavor.
Vermentino.'s crispness and complexity pairs well with dishes that feature rich spices, tangy herbs, and a degree of creaminess. Halibut, smoked trout, or salmon are lovely, maybe in a taco? Cheese, please—particularly creamy goat or burrata. Don't forget the veggies—and don't be afraid to bring out the spinach, arugula, or even asparagus..
Silver 2017 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition