Vermentino is exactly what we love in a white wine: crisp, refreshing, flavorful, and beautifully aromatic without being in-your-face. The fact that it’s grown in Italy along the Mediterranean coast and on the island of Sardinia suggests that it is great with seafood — which it is. But it’s also our favorite wine for Thai food, chicken, and salads.
The Avivo Vermentino opens with notes of stone fruit interlaced with crushed rock, melon rind, and orange blossom. The palate is deliciously crisp and refreshing with flavors of Gravenstein apple, pear, and subtler hints of lime zest and wet stone.
Vineyards: Ledbetter Family Vineyards, Lodi CA. The Vermentino vineyard is in well-drained alluvial soils along the Mokelumne River. The vineyard is farmed to Demeter certified standards of Biodynamics.
Avivo is the result of decades of farming and winemaking experience, coupled with a thoughtful revisiting of a seminal question: what should we be growing here in California? It is surprising to discover that every one of California’s wine regions shares a Mediterranean climate - a climate quite different from northern France. This led Avivo to focus on grape varieties that are native to central Italy: and to their delight, they have thrived here. That has facilitated Avivo’s ability to practice Biodynamic farming, which yields better, more balanced fruit while sequestering significant amounts of CO2 - and leaving both the farms and the planet in better shape for future generations. (Even their corks are made from sugar cane residue which are carbon-negative!) Avivo’s climate-appropriate varieties and regenerative farming results in authentic wines with personality – delicious, food-friendly, and good for the planet.
The art of making great wine starts with the thoughtful process of choosing what grape varieties to grow. Which is why we started by challenging conventional wisdom about what kinds of grapes really belong in California.
To our surprise — and ultimately our delight — we concluded that California’s climate is not at all like that of the regions of northern France, where the five varieties that constitute over 93% of the winegrapes grown in California originate. That struck us as a problem.
On the other hand, it is exactly like that of the Mediterranean, specifically Italy and Spain. So that’s what we chose to grow — and it’s made a huge difference.
AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, FL, GA, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, LA, ME, MD, MI, MN, MO, MT, NE, NV, NH, NJ, NM, NY, NC, ND, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VT, VA, WA, WV, WI, WY
Some of you might remember me from my previous (and first) rattage.
Friends, I know I made some hefty claims last time, but I have a confession to make. I…I am no king. I’m not even a count, or a duke. I’m just a filthy commoner, carrying neither noble blood nor a proud lineage. This makes me feel such great shame, and now this bottle suddenly arriving alongside a request to provide my sovereign input has made me enter total panic mode. Knowing nothing of royal luxury, and even less about white wine, I’m at a complete loss for words.
Therefore, I’ve perfectly rationally decided to do the only thing that a mangy pauper like me can do in such a situation: I’ll drink myself into a stupor until the predicament in which I find myself hopefully goes away. So please join me as I drink this entire bottle of wine in one sitting, on Christmas Eve, and document the ordeal for both your benefit and entertainment!
Glass 1 (11:48 PM)
Let’s get all the formalities out of the way, I guess. The Vermentino is a pale golden straw color. Or at least I think it is, as the single light bulb of my closet-sized room doesn’t provide a very consistent color rendering index. As I take out the faux cork, I’m instantly reminded of the bargain bin wine shop purchases that carry me through a laborer’s workweek. It smells a lot like pears in the bottle, and same in the glass. The first taste impression is of puckery Granny Smith apples, but without the fructose. It is very dry. There’s also a slight fizz present; not visually, but it’s there if you let it sit on your tongue for a few seconds. No alcohol burn at all, and to me it feels chalky and “mineraly” (what white wine isn’t, though?), but also crisp and refreshing, kind of like a champagne without the heavy carbonation. If you want anything more fancy than that, sorry, I can’t help you. Expecting tasting notes like “a hint of Snow Leopard Melon” is too much of an ask from a self-admitted mud-bathing peasant. If you like white wine, I think you’ll like this? I wouldn’t say no to this if it’s free, but if I’m paying, I’m more of a “cheap Spanish red” kind of guy.
Glass 2 (12:27 AM)
This wine definitely brings on a feeling of nostalgia for me. With every sip, I’m reminded of getting absolutely hammered at (and getting kicked out of) art gallery receptions where they always serve similar white wines for some reason. I think this wine would be perfect for a picnic during the warmer months, with a nicely-chilled bottle complementing some cold cut sandwiches. Or, if you’re like me and polite company has an injunction against your very presence, brown-bagging it in the park at midnight. I certainly won’t judge, although I can’t make the same claim for your local authorities.
Glass 3 (01:05 AM)
Which reminds me, we haven’t even discussed food pairings yet! Well, allow me to make my chef’s recommendation: this wine goes perfectly with raw, barely-thawed hot dogs eaten straight from the package, right over the kitchen sink, in complete darkness. The quiet sobs and an occasional salty tear that makes it into my mouth seem to only accentuate the flavor. Of the hot dogs, I mean. The glass of wine has been gone for quite a few minutes now, which speaks volumes for its easy drinkability. You can totally chug this, and it goes down very smoothly. Suspiciously, perhaps too smoothly…What are you hiding, wine!? Are you here to finally have your revenge? Killing me won’t bring her back, you know.
Glass 4 (01:37 AM)
Yes mom, I’m fine. No, nothing is wrong. I’m just doing a product review thing for this website. No, I didn’t drink too much, I have to do it to write the review so they know if it’s good or not, which it kind of is, I guess? I’d probably pay a few bucks for it if the label says something clever. I would’ve saved you some, but I know you like reds more. What do you mean “why am I not saying anything?” I’m responding to you right now, aren’t I? Why are you looking at me like that? Go back to sleep, okay? Merry Christmas!
Glass 5 (02:12 AM)
Okay, I’m not exactly sure what I’m drinking right now. The bottle was good for only four glasses, so whatever this is, we’ve definitely crossed the Rubicon. I think I should stop writing before I firmly plant my feet into “drunkenly spouting QAnon conspiracy theories” territory, as I imagine my blood alcohol level must be quite high. Also, my word processor’s spell check function has just accused me of war crimes, which is never a good sign.
That said, I hope you enjoyed this review as much as I will regret writing it tomorrow. I know nearly nothing about white wine, so this is probably of little use to anyone, but please try to consider my (very much deserved) suffering as both a belated Christmas present, and penance for my many sins!
Final verdict: buy if you like the cheaper/younger white wine taste and/or getting totally drunk.
Well Wine Enthusiast has nothing on @ShotGunX but here we go anyway:
89 Points. This light-bodied, mineral-driven wine made from biodynamically farmed grapes offers white pepper and flint aromas, subtle dried thyme and Bosc pear flavors lifted by good acidity for a refreshing texture. JG 12/1/22
Digging deep here, but there is a poster named BargainWhine who posts on Grocery Outlet finds:
Green melon, lemon / lemon blossom, yellow apple, crisp acid of melon rind with matching sharp minerality. Has more ripeness and fleshiness than the Italian versions of Vermentino, but is still a nicely balanced and delicious wine. 3/1/22
Digging deeper…Wine Of The Month Club had this to say Feb '22:
Color, pale. Nose, sweeping fruit and spice. Palate, side to side savory. Finish, citrus twist. Pairing, seafood vegetarian. Enjoy Now.
The complex aromatics are enthralling. From candied fruit to ginger, peach, and pear, the wine is almost a symphony within itself. The flavors reflect the aromas and finish with a flourish beckoning seared ahi with a soy/ginger vinaigrette or fried catfish Louisiana style. PK
Well, just last week my wife and I enjoyed a bottle of the 2018 vintage, that we got from casemates last January, (was $109 then) we almost always enjoy our wine with food, believe we usually have this with a fish dinner, but last week it went well with a stuffed pork chop meal. Summer evening on the deck (please god, bring back a summer evening after this week) having this is also wonderful memory. In for another case.