Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Our Third Wine of Christmas

For our third wine of Christmas, my true love drank with me,
trimming the tree.

285. 2006 Rocca delle Macie Occhio A Vento Vermentino (Maremma IGT)

It goes to show how little I know about the Vermentino grape. When I grabbed the bottle - it was so dark - I thought I was opening a red wine to go with some pasta before we finished decorating the tree. It may not have been what I'd expected, but, luckily, it was still fine with the food and might have been a better fit for sipping as we strung the lights and chose the ornaments to suit this year's colour scheme. Boo's fashion sense dictated orange this year - and the wine matched the colouring perfectly.

Taking a look at the winery's website - after the fact - I found some interesting information, in addition to my earlier discovery that Vermentino is a white wine.

Initially, I found out that this is a "sister" wine to Sasyr - a Sangiovese/Syrah blend that is now readily available in Vancouver. We just happened to have tried it while in Rome last year and were quite impressed. That gives the winery a bit of pedigree for my books right off the top.

Rocca delle Macie is based in Tuscany - largely in the Chianti region - however, this wine is sourced from vineyards in Maremma on the Southwest coast of Tuscany. The fact that the Mediterranean breezes have a big effect in the vineyards is reflected in the wine's name. "Occhio a Vento" translates to "eye of the wind."

This was the 2006 vintage and it still had a bracing acidity, if not a full palate or body, but I see that the 2008 version has just been named as a "best value wine" by Canadian wine magazine, Wine Access.

I also got a bit of a kick from the website in that the winery describes itself as a "young" winery, being only 30 years old. I should think that we can count - on our fingers - all the BC wineries that have seen that many vintages. Quite a different viewpoint for the European experience I suppose.

I do know that we finished the bottle long before we finished the tree.

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