I had the opportunity to taste two great new wines made by Cecchi. These wines are from the beautiful area of Val delle Rose and are made from the same grape variety, Vermentino. The wines are vinified and matured in a different way, resulting in a completely different wine while still retaining recognizable characteristics.
The awesome organic winery Val delle Rose
Located in Grosseto, Val delle Rose – Cecchi’s super cool organic winery in Maremma – is recognized as one of the top 10 Vermentino producers in the region. The vineyards span across more than 186 hectares of diverse organic vineyards in Poggio la Mozza. The soil in Maremma varies from rocky to loose Quaternary dunes. Through experiments, Val delle Rose has identified the best plots for each grape variety, resulting in precise zoning. The Litorale plot, characterized by its abundance of minerals and northern exposure, is ideal for growing Vermentino. The nutrient-poor and well-drained soils produce Litorale Maremma Toscana Vermentino DOC and Cobalto Maremma Toscana Vermentino DOC, which showcase the saltiness of the sea, the sun of Maremma, and the charm of the Tuscan coast.
Litorale Maremma Toscana Vermentino DOC Bio
Litorale Maremma Toscana Vermentino DOC Bio is like the perfect combination of Vermentino and Maremma. It’s a white wine that brings together structure and freshness in a beautiful way.
This wine is made only from Vermentino grapes, grown on hills that are 150 meters above sea level. The vineyard produces about 70 q/ha and is situated on sandstones that are rich in decomposing rock.
The grapes go through a process of vinification with pre-fermentation cold maceration and are aged in stainless steel. This process keeps the unique qualities of the grape variety and the terroir intact, resulting in a wine that is elegant, fruity, and mineral.
My personal thoughts on the Litorale
This wine has a nice straw yellow color and a moderate intensity in terms of aroma. The aroma reminds me of apple blossom, citrus and orange, melon, peach with a hint of nuts, almonds, and fresh green herbs. The wine has a decent acidity and flavors of apple, peach, pear, melon, flowers, and fresh green herbs. In the aftertaste, there is a slight bitterness that also reminds me of almonds. The finish is not very long, but overall, it’s a pretty good wine.
Cobalto Maremma Toscana Vermentino DOC
Cobalto Maremma Toscana Vermentino DOC is a super cool white wine that aims to show off the different vibes of Val delle Rose’s various terroirs. The Vermentino grapes used in this wine come from carefully selected vineyards along the coast. This label reveals the richness and potential for development of a variety known for its chill and lively character.
To make Cobalto, we came up with a super unique winemaking process. The grape juice ferments in a mix of wood, amphora, and stainless steel tanks, with one-third of the fermentation happening in each of these containers. The wine then chills with the lees for 10 months to develop complexity and depth. After that, it hangs out in the bottle for at least 6 months.
Because of its super distinctive winemaking process and unique sensory vibes, Cobalto Val delle Rose will be labeled as “Vermentino Superiore” starting from the 2021 vintage, and “Vermentino Superiore BIO” from the 2022 vintage.
My personal thoughts on the Cobalto
This wine has a deep yellow color and a super intense aroma, with strong notes of vanilla and wood, as well as hints of coconut, apple, citrus, and exotic fruit. The wine brings a decent level of enjoyment, with a nice long finish. It is a really tasty food-friendly wine, with a bold presence of wood notes, vanilla, and also some coconut, apricot, peach, and almonds. It’s not sweet, but it’s really satisfying, with a slightly bitter finish. Overall, it’s a gorgeous and complex wine that goes perfectly with food.
The Versatility of Vermentino
Vermentino is a type of white wine grape that is grown in different regions of Italy and originally comes from Sardinia. Vermentino grapes have a few characteristics that contribute to the overall taste of the wine. Here are some important features of Vermentino grapes and how they affect the wine:
- Thin, Light-Colored Skin: Vermentino grapes have a thin, light-colored skin, which gives the wine its light-bodied nature. The thin skin allows for a gentle extraction of flavors and aromas during the winemaking process.
- Aromatic Profile: Vermentino wines are known for their pleasant smells. The grapes can have various aromas, including light citrus, tree fruits, floral notes, and sometimes a nutty quality. These aromas add complexity and depth to the wine.
- Range of Flavors: Vermentino wines offer a wide variety of flavors. On the palate, the flavors can range from citrus fruits to mineral notes and even a hint of saltiness. This combination of flavors creates a refreshing and lively taste experience.
- Bitter Finish: Vermentino has a unique bitter finish that reminds you of almonds. This bitter note adds a special element to the overall flavor of the wine.
- Acidity: Vermentino grapes are sometimes picked early to maintain their acidity. This acidity contributes to the wine’s freshness and crispness, making it a great choice for warm weather and pairing with food.
Vermentino grapes have qualities that make wines that are aromatic, light-bodied, refreshing, and filled with flavors. These qualities make Vermentino a chill and enjoyable wine. It’s a versatile wine that can be paired with lots of different foods. Here are some examples of how Vermentino can be paired:
- Fish and seafood: Vermentino is a great wine to have with fish and goes perfectly with oysters and other raw shellfish. It also works well with dishes like squid and octopus. It’s even good with a basil-heavy Genovese pasta al pesto and can handle fish soups with tomatoes.
- Other foods: Vermentino can also be enjoyed with other foods like salads, grilled veggies, and white meats. It’s a solid choice to have with various Italian dishes like pasta, pizza, and risotto.
- Tasting notes: Vermentino is a well-rounded variety that brings aroma, fruity flavors, body, and structure. It has a bit of a mysterious complexity that keeps you wanting more. The wine has bright aromas of sea salt spray and savory salt bush. It’s tropical and well-balanced.
All in all, Vermentino is a versatile wine that can be enjoyed with lots of different foods and has a complex flavor profile that makes it a pleasure to drink.
How Do Oak Barrels Impact the Flavor of Vermentino Wine?
When it comes to Vermentino wine, the use of oak barrels can have a variety of effects on its flavor. Here are some ways in which oak barrels can make a difference:
- Adds Complexity: Aging in oak barrels brings in flavors like vanilla, toast, and spice, which add complexity to Vermentino wine. This makes it even more enjoyable and appealing.
- Alters Texture: Oak barrels can change the texture of Vermentino wine, giving it a creamy or buttery feel in your mouth. This contributes to a richer and fuller experience on your palate.
- Imparts Oak Flavors: Vermentino wine can pick up flavors of oak, smoke, and caramel from the oak barrels. These flavors complement the natural characteristics of the wine and enhance its overall flavor profile.
- May Mask Natural Flavors: If new or heavily toasted oak barrels are used, they can overpower the natural flavors of Vermentino grapes. This can result in an oak-dominated wine that lacks the delicate aromas and flavors typical of Vermentino.
In a nutshell, the use of oak barrels has a significant impact on the flavor of Vermentino wine. While it can add complexity and depth, it’s important to use oak barrels with care to avoid overshadowing the natural flavors of the grapes.
Final Thoughts on the Two Personalities of Vermentino
Val delle Rose in Maremma, Italy, is a well-known producer of Vermentino wines. The vineyards benefit from a variety of soils, which result in unique expressions of the Vermentino grape. The Litorale Maremma Toscana Vermentino DOC Bio showcases the special bond between Vermentino and Maremma, offering an elegant, fruity, and mineral wine. The Cobalto Maremma Toscana Vermentino DOC highlights the diverse terroirs of Val delle Rose, with a unique winemaking process that brings complexity and depth to the wine. Vermentino is a versatile wine that goes well with fish, seafood, salads, grilled vegetables, and white meats. When using oak barrels, it is important to use them carefully to avoid overpowering the natural flavors and to maintain the wine’s texture. All in all, Val delle Rose offers a delightful exploration of the different expressions of Vermentino.
Big thanks to Cecchi for sending me these amazing bottles to taste. I really enjoyed the experience of trying two wines made from the same grape and area but with different types of terroir, winemaking, and aging.
More information about Val delle Rose: www.valdellerose.it