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Harvest is starting to wrap up across the state right now, which will finally give me some time to update the blog again. I’ve been pretty busy helping several vineyards with harvests, as well as a few stints down in Willcox for Passion Cellars (including aiding in the harvest of Arizona’s first crop of Corvina). In these hot days between the end of monsoon and the coming of fall, it’s time for a crisp, acidic white–and the 2016 Vermentino from Lightning Ridge Cellars fits the bill.

2016 Vermentino

The 2016 Vermentino from Lightning Ridge Cellars, perched in the mountains.

The Wine: While under the Lightning Ridge Label, the 2016 Vermentino is sourced from Flying Kite Vineyard, down in the Sonoita AVA. I am unsure of the fermentation and aging process on this wine, but if I had to guess, I feel like this wine may have seen some aging in neutral French oak. Like all the wines at Lightning Ridge, this wine was made by Ann Roncone. As you would expect for a wine of this varietal, this vintage is a translucent, pale yellow-green color.

The Nose: The 2016 Vermentino opens with notes of key-lime pie, intermingling with briny sea-salt/seashore on a cold, windy day, and just a hint of tangerine. As the nose opens, additional notes of white peach, grapefruit, apple blossom, and mint emerge.

The Palate: This wine is light-bodied and has high acidity, but on both counts it is fuller-bodied and a little bit lower in acidity than other Vermentino vintages I’ve had from both Arizona and Italy. Notes of grass, key-lime, grapefruit, sea-salt, and almond round out the refreshing palate of this vintage. The finish of the 2016 Vermentino lasts for 47 seconds, and has notes of limestone, sea-salt, and Meyer lemon, with just a touch of tangerine.

The Pairing: For some reason, the cheerful, bright nature of Vermentino always makes me think of bringing it on picnics with sharp cheeses and fennel pork sausage. Despite this, I have yet to do so.  This wine will also pair well with chicken tacos or roasted trout.  For a vegetarian or vegan pairing, serve this wine with a spinach quiche, or some roasted zucchini with garlic and herbs.  For that matter, serve this wine with anything covered in pesto.

Impressions: The 2016 Vermentino is a great, easy-going, light-bodied, high-acid white wine for the last days of summer.  Drink this wine young, and drink it now while it’s still hot. Bring it for a picnic, or bring it on its own.

Personified, I feel like this wine would be kind of like a down to earth, tall, blonde, Italian fashion model who oddly prefers to be in the woods. In fact, she’d rather model for REI, or maybe The North Face, sleeping on the side of a rock face, instead of being on a catwalk.