Pala, “Stellato” Vermentino di Sardegna 2021 (about $28)

Italian Wine for january, 2023

Vermentino is a flavorful, late-ripening, white grape variety that flourishes in various northern Mediterranean-rim countries such as southern France, the island of Corsica and Italy’s northern coastal regions of Liguria and western Tuscany.

But, the best expression of Vermentino can, arguably, be found on the island of Sardinia. Here, the sunshine-loving, heat-and-drought-resistant variety has found an ideal habitat in the region’s hot, dry climate where it produces lean, aromatic wines with crisp acidity and elegant tropical fruit and citrus flavors.

The Pala winery is located in the gently-rolling hills around the small village of Serdiana about 14 miles due north of the regional capital of Cagliari. It’s a family-owned and managed winery that’s been around since 1950. But it has grown over the last 20-some years and today has approximately 180 acres under vine comprised of eight different vineyards spread over the area from Serdiana to Sardinia's western coast.

The Pala winery produces a diverse portfolio of white, red, rose and dessert-style wines utilizing primarily traditional indigenous varieties. Pala follows organic farming best practices so no chemical pesticides or fertilizers are used in the vineyards.

Pala’s “Stellato” Vermentino is made entirely of Vermentino harvested from 60-year-old vines. A soft pressing of the grapes is followed by fermentation in temperature-controlled stainless-steel tanks using indigenous vineyard yeasts. After fermentation is complete, the wine remains in contact with the fine lees (residual and dead yeast cells) for about 5 months, a process that imparts additional texture and a creamy feel to the wi2021 "Stellato" Vermentino from the Pala winery in Sardiniane. The wine is then clarified and bottled.

The wine comes in clear glass bottles that highlight the wine’s intense straw yellow color. A gentle swishing of the glass releases intriguing citrus and white stone fruit aromas. The wine is medium-to-full-bodied with a dense and velvety texture amplified by lees ageing. Fine-spun peach, pear and lemony flavors glissade across the tongue backed up by perky acidity and a long, grippy finish marked with elegant citrus fruit notes. It is an impressive white wine with a rousing 14.5 percent alcohol.

While I don’t feel the need to appeal to a higher authority, it is worth noting that this wine is a recipient of the highly-regarded Tre Bicchieri (“Three Glasses") award from Gambero Rosso that denotes it as one of Italy’s best wines. 


©Richard Marcis
January 6, 2023

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