Winery/Vineyard: Ponte Winery
Product/Varietal: 100% Vermentino
AVA on Bottle: Temecula Valley
Winemaker: Brian Hulbert
4.2 out of 5 stars on Vivino.
How They Describe It
A “favorito” on the Island of Sardinia, off the coast of Italy, our Vermentino is the color of a late summer sunset. After a few sips of this mouth-watering wine, you will be pricing flights to Sardinia. This food-friendly wine pairs well with pan-roasted halibut, pest primavera, and tuna tartare.
Medium-Bodied White Wine | Crisp & Aromatic | Pronounced Acidity
About This Item
Widely grown in Italy, Vermentino is known for its aromatic and refreshing qualities. Our 2019 vintage is medium-bodied and crisp, featuring a pronounced acidity with notes of lemon-lime, guava, and orange blossom. Drink now, and serve chilled!
Lemon-lime, guava, and orange blossom
Food Pairing Notes
Try it with fresh seafood or grilled Mediterranean vegetables.
How I Describe It
Ponte’s 2019 Vermentino appears clear, pale lemon yellow, resembling Pinot Grigio (similar to other Vermentino wines). Specks of particulates floating in the wine bottle suggest some grape solids were utilized during fermentation and aging, and made their way past any filters prior to bottling.
Scents of the Ponte 2019 Vermentino waft from the glass bulb well before it reaches your nose. Juicy tangerine, mango, and banana cream are most noticeable. Deeper inhales reveal pear, apple blossom, and a touch of lemon zest.
A burst of pineapple and tangerine materializes on your tongue, followed by vanilla crêpe, sour apple, and subtle pear. Lemon juice blankets the wine’s flavors from start to finish.
The Ponte 2019 Vermentino is a dry wine. At 13.5% ABV, alcohol content is medium. Medium-plus acid lends a notable crispness, which balances well with the wine’s aromatics. This Vermentino version is medium bodied, with an overall medium flavor intensity, and a medium finish.
Why is This Wine Special?
First, I need to mea culpa. Back in April 2019, the second piece I published on TWR was a passionate rant about the importance of including AVA designations on bottles of wine. The reason I wrote it was because I couldn’t find the AVA designation on a bottle of Ponte Winery’s wine which I intended to review.
Unfortunately, at this point, I don’t have any way to verify whether the AVA was absent from the bottle or if I simply missed it. It has long since been drunk, and Ponte has moved on to a new vintage for that particular wine (i.e., it’s a new printing run of labels). However, I made the callous assumption that Ponte simply didn’t include AVA designations on any of its bottles. As a result, I wrote off reviewing Ponte’s wine. However, that was an erroneous assumption to make.
Then, a few weeks ago, Stephanie Staab of @theluxesip posted a couple photos on Instagram of the Ponte 2019 Vermentino — this actual wine. There, on the back of the label, next to the ABV, was “Temecula Valley”. So, Ponte’s wines do have AVA designations on the bottle. Thus, whether that first bottle back in April 2019 lacked an AVA or not, I was wrong to dismiss all their wines.
But let’s talk about the Ponte 2019 Vermentino, specifically. Ponte Winery makes a beautiful rendition of this varietal, both bringing out the wine’s natural citrus, floral, and green fruit characteristics as well as unique tropical flavors. It’s a pleasant, easy-drinking wine — balanced, flavorful, yet unobtrusive.
It’s also an outstanding alternative to many Sauvignon Blancs or unoaked Chardonnays, and has a brighter flavor profile than Pinot Grigio while featuring many similar features.
When & How I Would Drink It
Many Temecula wines — including whites — are boldly and brightly flavored. So, food pairing need to be similarly bold and bright. The Ponte 2019 Vermentino is a bit more delicately flavored, and higher acidity adds to its level of refreshment.
I view the 2019 Vermentino as a quintessential brunch wine. It won’t upstage a rich dish like eggs benedict, but will complement lighter fare like oysters or lox superbly.
That said, it’s best to drink this wine now (or soon after purchasing it). There is no need to age it. In fact, unoaked lighter white wines like Vermentinos will spoil fairly quickly (after 1 to 3 years) if left to sit for too long.
How to Get It
Order Online: https://shop.pontewinery.com/product/Vermentino-2019
Bottle Price: $34 (discounts for wine club members)
Cases Produced: unknown
Have you tried the Ponte 2019 Vermentino? How did the tasting notes compare with your experience? Leave a comment below.