Vermentino versus Rolle

Many believe that the best Vermentino wines come from Sardinia. Since I have the privilege of spending a large part of my time in Provence, a favourite wine has become white wines from the Provencal Rolle grape and since Rolle is the “Provencal name” for Vermentino, I simply had to, wine nerd as I am, taste Vermentino versus Rolle!

The tasting showed clear similarities between the Vermentino and Rolle wines, you find the same aromas and flavours in the wines, this applies to all tasted wines, but in a different order. In the Rolle wines first comes pears, citrus and then yellow fruit which gives a fresh impression while in the Vermentino wines first comes yellow fruit / exotic fruit and then pears and they have a greater fatness. Both grapes develop petroleum-like minerals with age. Does the difference in the character of the Vermentino and Rolle wines come from different terroirs or different grape clones?

More details for those interested can be found below:

The tasting included three Vermentino wines from Sardinia, and also one from Tuscany / Bolgheri, as well as two Rolle wines from Côtes de Provence:

  • Primo Bianco Mesa, 2019 (Mesa), Vermentino di Sardegna
  • Cala Reale 2019 (Tenuta Sella & Mosca), Vermentino di Sardegna
  • Spèra 2016 (Siddura), Sardinia/Vermentino di Gallura
  • Solosole Vermentino, 2019 (Poggio al Tesoro), Toscana/Bolgheri
  • Cuvée Grand Classique 2019 (Domaine Gavoty), Côtes de Provence
  • Cuvée Clarendon 2016 (Domaine Gavoty), Côtes de Provence

We sorted out the simpler Primo Bianco Mesa wine first, had a slight chemical aroma and a slightly scattered taste with sharp acidity. After that we then removed Solosole which had a little botrytis tone and the nose was not that fresh. Even Cala Reale did not do so well, we did not like the overly aromatic scent that became a bit too much.

They tasted Rolle and Vermentino wines respectively

Then there was the Spèra Vermentino wine and the two Rolle wines, which were all in a class of their own, whether you like the Vermentino wine or the Rolle wines depends on the wine taste you have. The Spèra wine has a fatter aroma, with yellow and exotic fruit, a little pear and Riesling-like petroleum aroma, we also got an impression of barrel storage even though this was not the case. The Rolle wines was fresher with pears, citrus and then yellow fruit and a certain fatness. The older Rolle wine had also developed a Riesling-like petroleum aroma. All three wines had a nice mineral saltiness at the end.

The tasting showed clear similarities between the Vermentino and Rolle wines, you find the same aromas and flavours in the wines, applies to all tried wines, but in a different order. In the Rolle wines first comes pears, citrus and then yellow fruit which gives a fresh impression while in the Vermentino wines first comes yellow fruit / exotic fruit and then pears and they have a greater fatness. Both grapes develop petroleum-like minerals with age. Does the difference in the character of the Vermentino and Rolle wines come from different terroirs or different grape clones?

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