2019 Vermentino di Sardegna, Antonella Corda, Sardinia, Italy
Ten years ago, after finishing her masters in viticulture at the prestigious Fondazione Edmund Mach Foundation in Trentino, Antonella Corda, the grand-daughter of famed viticulturalist Antonio Argiolas, founded her winery, a few miles north of Cagliari in the village of Serdiana. Antonio, who lived to the age of 104, left Antonella two of his prized vineyards, and this wine comes from his favourite, Mitza Manna.
Top-level vermentino is a rare beast as, more often than not, it runs out of puff around the £15-mark. This wine, however, is a “Grand Cru”. I first tasted Corda’s wines on a mini-break to Sardinia a few years ago and I have never forgotten the vitality and racy, stone-fruit-bitterness which they bring to a fine lunch. There is mid-palate weight here, too, which means that there is fascinating sleight of hand in play. You can pour and drink this pin-sharp white as an electrifying aperitif, but if you bring canapés into view, it grows in the glass. Keep going and move to sashimi and ceviche dishes and it blossoms even more. Then launch a volley of lobsters or a cavalcade of serious quality fish mains and it, again, steps up like a pole-vaulter clearing ever-higher bars. They make a wickedly refreshing raspberry and fresh-herb soaked Cannonau here, too (drink this with vitello tonnato), but we will have to wait a few months for the 2019 to arrive because the ’18 is sold out. I, for one, cannot wait.
Matthew Jukes is a winner of the International Wine & Spirit Competition’s Communicator of the Year (matthewjukes.com)