Vermentino, 2016. Diaccio

Vermentino, 2016. Diaccio

Item #: L0319W4IF
Vintage: 2016
Varietal: Vermentino
Vineyard/Appellation: Toscano I.G.T., Italy
Color: Pale Straw
Nose: Dried Fruit, Orange
Palate: Minerals, Jasmine
Finish: Elongated, Lime Zest
Rating: 97
Cellaring/Serving Suggestions: Now through 2022/Seafood, Fowl, Vegetarian/12.5 % Alcohol by Volume

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Diaccio is made by the Pratesi Cinzia co-operative, founded in 2001 in Tuscany. It is located near Mount Amiata, a formerly volcanic mountain in Siena. While active volcanos can be hazardous to a vineyard's health, they do provide some of the finest ground on which to grow grapes. In this case, the volcano is inactive, so all the better.

The reason grapevines thrive in volcanic soil is because there is practically no soil involved. The ground is mostly rocks and former rocks, also known as sand. Vines are constantly looking for water. And with no soil to absorb the water, the root of the vine keeps meandering through the rocks to find water. In so doing it picks up the minerals and nutrients in those rocks to send up to the branches along with the precious little water it can find.

Conversely, with fertile land, the soil absorbs water so the vine is happy and just sticks around to soak up the water. The problem with this is that the vine absorbs too much water, passes it on to the grapes and the wine that is made is, well, watery.

That's not a problem here. The grapevines for our selection had to search for water, and that struggle made their branches above ground stronger, passing more nutrients to the grapes. And you can taste those perfect conditions in the final product.

Vermentino is one of the great grapes of Italy. There is very little of it grown, unfortunately. This one is a perfect example of growing it in perfect conditions. You can taste the minerals in the wine, mixed with dried fruits, jasmine, lime zest and orange blossom.