11 Jan Please The Palate Wine of the Week: Unti Vineyards 2021 Vermentino, Dry Creek Valley
Looking for a vibrant, fresh, deliciously drinkable wine? Try Vermentino! A light-bodied white wine, Vermentino primarily grows in Italy, in Sardinia, Liguria (where it is called Pigato), as well as Piedmont (where it is called Favorita). It is also grown in France where it is called Rolle. Vermentino is also grown in Australia, Lebanon, Malta, and the United States. There are just over 100 acres planted in California, primarily in warmer areas such as San Juaquin, Riverside, El Dorado, Yolo, and Sonoma. It is in the Dry Creek Valley of Sonoma where the Unti Vineyards 2021 Vermentino, the Please The Palate wine of the week, is found.
Vermentino is a great white grape, especially as temperature go up. It loves the heat. It can be cropped at both medium and high levels and still get high acidity and great flavor. These are some reasons Mick Unti likes working with Vermentino.
Unti Vineyards is owned by George and Mick Until. George first planted grapes in the 1990s and in 1997 he and his son Mick started making wine. Their 60-acre organically-farmed estate is planted to Rhone and Italian varieties which are ideally suited to the Mediterranean climate. Their approach is both modern and traditional. The modern applies to contemporary sorting techniques, temperature controlled tanks, and hygiene. The traditional relates to using native yeasts, applying a variety of vessels including large foudres and concrete tanks, and blocking malo-lactic fermentation in order to retain acidity. The key is to make wines with balance, flavor, and personality that highlight the vineyards.
Unti has 3.2 acres of Vermentino planted. The 2021 is sourced from vineyard blocks planted in 2004 and 2012 and was aged in concrete. It is vibrant, fresh, and bright with lime pith, papaya, white blossom, and herbaceous aromatics. On the palate, the wine is electric with zippy acidity and a mineral finish. The Unti 2021 Vermentino retailed for $35.
Food pairing with Vermentino
Vermentino pairs with grilled light meats and fish and dishes that highlight the herbal flavors.
Where to purchase
You can purchase direct from the winery at Unti Vineyards. Unfortunately, the Vermentino is sold out but the 2022 is coming soon!
Meet the winemaker
Listen to the interview I did with Mick Unti on the Wine Soundtrack USA podcast.