Mazzoni Vermentino-Chardonnay 2012
Passion for quality, respect for tradition, and a steadfast belief in innovation are the principles that led to the birth of this extraordinary Super Tuscan: a hand-crafted wine, blended using estate-grown Merlot and Sangiovese sourced from one of the Franceschi's oldest vineyards in Montalcino, and vinified using the same winemaking technology that has made Napa Valley one of the greatest producers of world-class Merlot. Mazzoni represents a supreme marriage of Old and New World winemaking, guided by shared family values and a desire to create a superior wine - to drink today and tommorrow.
One of the most iconic Italian regions for wine, scenery and history, Tuscany is the world’s most important outpost for the Sangiovese grape. Ranging in style from fruity and simple to complex and age-worthy, Sangiovese makes up a significant percentage of plantings here, with the white Trebbiano Toscano coming in second.
Within Tuscany, many esteemed wines have their own respective sub-zones, including Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. The climate is Mediterranean and the topography consists mostly of picturesque rolling hills, scattered with vineyards.
Sangiovese at its simplest produces straightforward pizza-friendly wines with bright and juicy red fruit, but at its best it shows remarkable complexity and ageability. Top-quality Sangiovese-based wines can be expressive of a range of characteristics such as sour cherry, balsamic, dried herbs, leather, fresh earth, dried flowers, anise and tobacco. Brunello expresses well the particularities of vintage variations and is thus popular among collectors. Chianti is associated with tangy and food-friendly dry wines at various price points. A more recent phenomenon as of the 1970s is the “Super Tuscan”—a wine made from international grape varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Syrah, with or without Sangiovese. These are common in Tuscany’s coastal regions like Bolgheri, Val di Cornia, Carmignano and the island of Elba.
A fantastic, aromatic white grape whose best wines come from a northeastern corner of Sardinia in a region called Gallura. Vermentino di Gallura DOCG, despite its light body, can be decidedly complex. Vermentino also enjoys success in Tuscany and in lesser proportions, grows on the island of Corsica.
In the Glass
Common flavors associated with this wine include pear, white peach, grapefruit, lime zest, fresh almond and crushed rocks. It is dry but fruity with a bright finish. Sardinian producers like to pick early to retain lively acidity but a fuller style has also become popular.
Vermentino does well paired with fresh and simple seafood dishes, pesto, grilled fennel and light appetizers.
Vermentino is thought to be genetically identical to Ligurian’s Pigato grape and Piedmont's Favorita. It comprises a large proportion of the whites in southern France, namely Provence, where it is called Rolle. If you're a fan of Sauvignon blanc, Albariño or Grüner Veltliner, a Vermentino in any of its guises, would be a great pick for you.