Il Torchio “Il Nero” / Vermentino Nero
Colli di Luni, Liguria 2017
Giorgio Tendola’s grandchildren, Gilda and Edoardo, have maintained the family’s thoughtful attitude, hands-on organic farming and slow approach to minimal intervention winemaking. Their farm is a unique one for the area’s natural geographic challenges- specifically because it’s all on one compact, yet steep, plot of land as opposed to broken up into tiny plots.
And they are working with yet another classic Italian wine curveball: it would appear that Vermentino Nero is not only NOT the dark skinned mutation of the Vermentino grape, as one might expect but genetically unrelated entirely. Although there is mention of it in the historical record of Liguria, this is NOT one of those grapes that one or two farmers have been quietly championing this whole time awaiting people to take notice of its potential quality. Instead, it was all but extinct up until 35 years ago -somehow being mistaken for Merlot even though, once again, it shares almost nothing in common with that grape either. Very few are working with it now and it remains to be seen if it will gain notoriety.