2017 Delinquente ‘Screaming Betty’ Vermentino
Region: Riverland < Australia
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Certified organic farming, x soil, fermented and aged in stainless steel with 2 months lees contact; bottled unfined/unfiltered with minimal So2; 10% ABV.
Winemaker: Con-Greg Grigoriou
We first met twenty-something Con-Greg Grigoriou of Delinquente at RAW, the natural wine fair in LA this year. He was charming, but his wines sealed the deal. Which is surprising, considering where they’re from: Southern Australia’s large, industrial farming region called Riverland, akin to California’s central valley, where any wine produced is large-scale, commercial plonk that is definitely not organic. But he wanted to prove that his homeland, a sea of BIG WINE, was capable of producing pure, terroir-driven, “smashable” juice, as he puts it -- and perhaps pave the way for others artisan producers. All of his fruit is certified organic, since 2009. The wines are all tiny production and single-vineyard, fermented in stainless steel with wild yeast, with edgy labels from his pal, local Adelaide street artist Ankles. He focuses on southern Italian varietals, because he feels they work well in the warm Aussie climate. We approve. This Vermentino is light, refreshing and herbal, with the signature saltiness you find in Sardinian Vermentino. And super fun. How could you not smash a bottle of this 10% alcohol crisp, organic white with a punky label that costs $20? Checks all sorts of boxes.