2018 Fattoria Cuscusa Pastura Vermentino di Sardegna - Rock Juice Inc

2018 Fattoria Cuscusa Pastura Vermentino di Sardegna

Regular price $28

Region: Sardinia < Italy

Grapes: Vermentino        

Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Certified organic, regenerative farming; volcanic soils full of obsidian; fermented and aged in stainless steel; bottled unfined/unfiltered with minimal added So2; 13% ABV

Winemaker: Michele Cuscusa

In Sardinia last summer, I had the pleasure of visiting lovely Michele on his farm deep in the countryside in the volcanic area under Marmilla mountains, where he and his brother have spent 30 years teaching organic agriculture through their small but internationally attended farm “school” Gonnostramatza. They have long embraced biodiversity and rallied against monoculture, by growing produce, harvesting wild herbs, keeping bees and producing dairy from their sheep. All that and a little bit of wine too -- this is Italy, afterall.  On a hot June afternoon, we lingered over a long lunch of the farm's cheeses, breads and wines, finishing up with a shot of his powerful homemade sheep yogurt.  We fell hard for the wines, which were way more authentic (and clean) than much of the stuff we'd found on Sardinia, an island dominated by big co-ops and commercial wineries.  That very day, we hooked Michele up with one of our favorite natural wine importers -- and voilá, the wines are here for us to enjoy stateside this summer.  Thanks Paolo

The island of Sardinia is as Mediterranean as it gets, sitting squarely in the middle of the sea with Iberia to the West, Corsica 10 miles North, the whole boot in the East, and Sicily just South. As the second largest island in the Med and a hotbed of agriculture and trade, Sardinia is a cultural melting pot, with waves of invasion and foreign rule, including 400 years of Spanish reign from 1323-1720. As a result, most of Sardinia’s native grape varieties, (and there are a lot!) are not truly sprung-from-the-soil indigenous, but Spanish cultivars brought centuries ago and adapted to the island’s hot and dry sun-soaked climate to become Sardinian staples.

Like this Vermentino, from extreme volcanic soil that's full of obsidian, giving the wine crazy minerality.  The hot Sardinian sun gives the wine ample fruit, which in less skilled hands could translate into heavy and boozy, but here it is lively and energetic, with bright lime, grapefruit and apple notes and zingy acidity.  Drinking the Pastura, we're transported back to the day on the boat in Sardinia, where the wine went down like water as we soaked and splashed in the unreal turquoise sea....

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