2017 Il Torchio ‘Il Nero’
Region: Liguria < Italy
Grapes: Vermentino Nero
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: organic farming, 12 continuous hectares, 9 planted to vine, 35 year-old vines. Sand, silt and skeletal soil on steep slopes, fermented in stainless steel, aged in stainless steel for 6 months; bottled unfined/unfiltered with 15ppm So2; 13% ABV
Winemaker: Edoardo Tendola
You’ll remember this up and coming estate from their white wine, a Vermentino, featured in last December’s selection. Since then we’ve had the chance to hang out and drink beer with Gilda and Edoardo, darlings of the Italian natural wine world, both here in SF and also at their GORGEOUS property in Liguria, with views of the Mediterranean just a couple miles away. The property rises above the sea on a steep hillside and a public path skirts it that leads hikers to and from the sea and the mountains above them. Getting to know them has made us even more passionate about their progress to date, and bright future. Their ‘Il Nero’ (made from 100% Vermentino Nero, the rare-ish black version of the Vermentino grape, which was all but extinct until a few local farmers resurrected it in the 80’s) is a fresh, breezy red that just begs to be chilled. Crunchy, mouth-watering and fruit-forward, with a little tang and a little black pepper, this fun bottle takes the traditionally Tuscan grape and gives it a coastal spin. And, as a red from white wine country should, it slays seafood, but is equally good with poultry and veg dishes. Most growers would have replaced it by now, but due to a fortuitous break in the wine making chain (it skipped a generation from Gilda and Edoardo’s grandfather to them), these old vines are still around. Lucky us, as this is a red we want to drink all summer!