Two sensational examples of terroir. Each so different it’s like two different languages. Wait, that’s exactly it.
Yes, terroir as a vino descriptor is overused, but sometimes wine is so evocative of a place that it’s dumbfounding. The Vezelay is light as a feather, apple, crab-apple, pear, brimming with a fruity juicy freshness, it seems the absolute soul of a French country white, the only thing missing is a checkerboard tablecloth. At 12 per cent it was perhaps a tad too easy to drink, but no matter; blind I think even an expert could have mistaken it for something out of Alsace, the delicate delicacy of it as if floating on the palate. I kept thinking of the Roman ruins near St-Rémy-de-Provence, the views of olive trees from Les Baux, the market stalls in Aix. Charm, rapture, grace. Biodynamic to boot.
The Pomice, with a pronounced stony nose so forward you feel knee deep in brambles, positively oozes the Italian coast. In fact, there is something almost briny to the bouquet; grown in lava rock (yes, I kid you not) there is a stony component that is utterly stunning—our first review on the blog of a Carricante (Malvasia blend). Although I’ve never been to Sicily, let alone Lipari, this wine speaks of Cinque Terre, the Amalfi Coast, and the soft light of dusk in Puglia in August. It begs to accompany fresh seafood, crusty bread, and grilled asparagus at a village cantina, outdoors. It is meaty but not heavy, layers of minerality, crisp but not sour, and altogether unique. I am now on the hunt from anything grown on Lipari. This was mouth-wateringly good as well a profoundly satisfying.
Price: Both wines were under $20 USD in Seattle and, even with the exchange rate, you couldn’t source a Burgundy under $50 CDN at BC Liquor that could touch the Vezelay. As for the Pomice, Sicilian wines have not been widely embraced in BC; god forbid we ever see wines from a local island off the coast of Sicily proper. Is that taste, affordability, import issues, or some combination?
Market Liquidity: Why wine drinkers drink wine.
Editorial aside: One day, in the future, British Columbians will be able to buy a bottle of, say, Jale Chardonnay. But that someday is not nowadays and while northern Italy crowds the BCL shelves, the south has yet to rise. Cross our fingers it will.