2018 Laura Aschero Vermentino
Region: Ponente DOC < Liguria < Italy
Vineyard/cellar stats: Organic farming; terraced, coastal vineyards; direct press in stainless steel; bottled with minimal added So2; 12% ABV
Winemaker: Laura Aschero
The seaside region of Liguria is an extraordinary place, the land of quaint, almost Disney-esque, pastel villages and incredible food (pesto, focaccia, fresh fish, olive oil!) It is also one of Italy’s best kept wine secrets, a secret only because they produce so little, thanks to extremely steep and impossible terrain that is often struck by landslides. These are the wines for which Laura Aschero is famous, at least in Italy (her wines are impossible to find here because the Italians drink them all). A true pioneer for the quality wine movement there, she started her small project in the 80's, staying true to region's native varietals of the area: Vermentino, Pigato and the elusive red unicorn, Rossese. Sadly, Laura passed away in 2009, but her son continues mom's traditions.
Vermentino thrives in this part of Liguria, so close to the ocean, and absorbs the terroir in a profound way, reflecting the salty, mineral quality of the sea. In addition to a deep core of salinity, this wine goes a bit rogue with intriguing notes of passionfruit, apricot and Meyer lemon. And sea salt -- the salinity in this wine is palpable. Zesty but rich and palate-coating, Laura's Vermentino practically begs for something tasty drenched in olive oil. A gorgeous wine that has the magical ability to transport one to a sunny, happy place by the sea, and brighten up any given Tuesday.