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Contini Vernaccia di Oristano 2004

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Contini Vernaccia di Oristano 2004

Reference #: 2820
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Vernaccia di Oristano is a wine DOC of Sardinia, introduced in August 1971 – the very first Sardinian DOC title to be awarded. Wines made under this title are rarely seen outside Italy, and almost never outside Europe. To many, this rarity adds considerably to the intrigue of tasting such a wine, particularly when discovering that it is made in an oxidative style, like a dry sherry.
Vernaccia, like Muscat, Moscato, Malvasia and Clairette, is a name applied to several distinct grape varieties, rather than identifying a single one definitively. The reason for this is simply that the name derives from the Latin word for 'domestic' or 'native' – in fact it is directly related to the word 'vernacular', meaning the language of a particular place or people. Vernaccia di Oristano is distinguished from other Vernaccias only by the fact that it grows around Oristano, in the west of Sardinia. It is thought to be grown nowhere else in the world. Like their Cannonau (Grenache) counterparts in Sardinia, Vernaccia di Oristano vines are traditionally grown in the bush-vine style known as alberello latino.
The vines which are responsible for this wine are grown in 20 communes within and around Oristano town. The grapes are harvested and pressed in the standard way, then oxidatively matured in barrels for three or four years under a flor. The barrels are not filled to the brim, allowing a film of beneficial yeasts (flor) to develop over the wine, controlling the rate of oxidation to a certain extent. The musty, nutty aroma which results from this ageing is known in the local dialect of Campidanese as murrai. Cettolini, a 19th-century Sardinian microbiologist and thus particularly well placed to comment on the qualities of this wine, said of Vernaccia di Oristano that "the delicacy of its completeness conquers us... that curious taste of bitter fruit, so gracious, so seductive". - winesearcher.
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