Troon’s Vermentino: An Unusual White Wine for #ORWine Month

Do you enjoy bright, lively, citrusy, minerally, acidic, refreshing white wines like Albariño, Grüner Veltliner, Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon, Soave or Verdejo? If so, then you should check out VERMENTINO which, while unusual or rare in the United States, is not so unusual if you are in Italy!

According to Wikipedia, “Vermentino is also known under the synonyms Agostenga, Agostenga blanc, Brustiano, Brustiano di Corsica, Carbes, Carbesso, Favorita, Favorita bianca, Favorita Bianca di Conegliano, Favorita d’Alba, Favorita di Alba, Favorita di Conegliano, Formentino, Fourmentin, Garbesso, Grosse Clarette, Malvasia a Bonifacio, Malvasia Grossa, Malvasie, Malvoisie, Malvoisie è Gros Grains, Malvoisie Corse, Malvoisie de Corse, Malvoisie Précoce d’Espagne, Piccabon, Piga, Pigato, Rolle, Rossese, Sibirkovski, Uva Sapaiola, Uva Vermentino, Valentin, Varlentin, Varresana bianca, Vennentino, Verlantin, Vermentini, Vermentino bianco, Vermentino Pigato, and Vermentinu.” WHEW!

Originally thought to be from France or Italy, today Vermentino grows well and is well known in northern coastal regions of Italy including Marememma (try the one from Cecchi), and the islands of Sardinia, and Corsica in France. The Troon wine vineyards are in the Siskiyou Mountains which are very different than the volcanic soils in the Cascade Mtns.

In the US, Tablas Creek produces a Vermentino and it is grown also in Lodi, for example the 2014 Borra Vineyards Vermentino ($22) or the 2015 PRIE Winery, Delu Vineyard Lodi Vermentino ($21); Alta Mesa-Lodi AVA. 

Recently, Sue and I participated in a #WineStudio tasting of Troon’s 2014 Vermentino, and so for this final day of #ORWine month, I offer this post to you. Cheers to Oregon Wine Month! Cheers to trying new wines! Cheers to Vermentino!

2014 Vermentino – Applegate Valley, Southern Oregon -12% alcohol

While many people know about Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley in Oregon, southern Oregon farms also grow wine grapes. The Troon wine vineyards are in the Siskiyou Mountains which are very different than the volcanic soils in the Cascade Mountains where Pinot Noir thrives. Troon is located south of Eugene which is in the southern most part of the Willamette.  The Applegate Valley AVA is a sub-region of the Rogue Valley AVA on the valley floor at 1400′ beside the Siskiyou Mountains. According to Troon’s Crag Camp, Applegate Valley is not conducive to Pinot or Chard but great for Vermentino” as well as another famous Italian grape, Sangiovese; Troon also a produces Malbec and Tannat blend called M-T.

At Troon, Craig Camp says that “We are letting the terroir chose the varieties thaen finding people who love to drink them. We don’t add any acids, enzymes, sugars or any new oak. Vineyards are all sustainable.” With less than 300 cases produced of the Vermentino, it can be hard to find, but you can find it on their website and order it.

Craig reports that Vermentino is very popular in the Portland area where the resturants are “famous for cutting edge locavore.” The wine is a natural for food pairings: it has a great texture from the natural ferment and lees contact.

Grapes are picked by the same crew that farms them all year long. Vineyards are certified Salmon Safe. Craig points out that the wine is not skin fermented but trodden by foot. In fact, all grapes are trodden by foot at Troon! Vermentino has a lot of natural skin pigments and Troon does skin contact with creaminess from the lees.

We noticed a brightness to this wine right off the bat, maybe it was the  power of suggestion on the bottle, but we got the cherry notes in the wine right away as well as honey, lemon, beeswax, and bright citrus. Overall this wine is crisp, clean, and refreshing, with nice minerality and acidity.

The nose is beautiful and subtle, with cherries once again, but more cherry blossoms in the morning dew, just a light hint of them. This nose is actually quite unexpected, and we really enjoyed the nose on this wine: we want to sniff it every time we take a sip! Hard to get it near your lips without first taking in the lovely aroma which only enhances the pleasure factor.

It pairs well with the oysters, but not the same as the bright saline grassy notes of a Sauv Blanc. The oyster also brings out a watermelon  note in the wine. This wine does more for the oyster than the oyster does for the wine, however with the wine, it brings out a very nice mineral finish. It also went well with the pate and surprisingly, it went really nicely with parm cheese, which is usually difficult for a wine to stand up to.

Pair Vermentino with many of the foods you love with Sauvignon Blanc. In addition to oysters, we went with pesto and cheese raviolis with a caesar salad as well as fresh sourdough and goat cheese.

This wine was provided as a sample for my participation in a #Winestudio twitter educational session and for my review consideration. Thank you!! 


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