2016 Il Torchio Vermentino
Region: Colli di Luni < Liguria < Italy
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: organic farming, 12 continuous hectares, 9 planted to vine. Sand, silt and skeletel soil on steep slopes, fermented in cement tanks, aged on lees for 9 months and then in bottle for 9 months before release; bottled unfined/unfiltered with 15ppm So2; 12.5% ABV
Winemaker: Edoardo Tendola
It was the early and unexpected death of their grandfather that brought Gilda and Edoardo Tendola back from graduate school to take up stewardship of Il Torchio. But perhaps because of this they dug their heels in and learned quickly, also applying the extensive knowledge he had passed along to them as children. Within a couple of years they had the estate back on its feet, and perhaps even improved with changes like organic farming and lowering sulfur additions to the bare minimum. They have become one of the new darlings of the Italian natural wine world with their youth and vigor – and they particularly stand out in Liguria where there is strong local demand for the wine and little interest in change. The demand is high for a reason though – vineyards are on steep slopes next to the sea which supplies cooling winds in the evenings and deposits salt on the grapes. The Il Torchio bottling is Gilda and Edoardo’s flagship, their pride and joy, coming from the best grapes in the highest vineyards. It is aged on lees and then even longer in bottle so not only does it have that salty Ligurian minerality but it takes on a sultry creaminess from the lees aging, and more developed nutty almond notes with a good dose of wildflowers. Cap it off with some Bosc pear and you have a perfect pairing for seafood platters, smokey baba ganoush and toasted pitas.