Kermit Lynch’s $12 Perfection for Your Late Summer Salad

Posted on: 08/24/18 12:01 PM


Ninety percent of the time when we appreciate a wine’s flavor we rave about its fruit, along with mineral and earth. But what happens when a bottle’s greatest charm is less about pretty cherries and perfectly picked pears and more about something you rarely hear people talk about, vegetables.

Vegetables? How unsexy can you be?

We are well aware that when you usually mention the word it is an off-putting indication to a flaw – too many pyrazines or of fruit picked too early – giving off grimacing green flavors of bell pepper or canned asparagus. While cherry and cassis, lemon and pear will always be the chief darling of the general public’s wine palate, there is more than enough room for beauty on the other side of the spectrum.

Such is the case with the supremely fresh, delicate and self-assured 2017 Verdicchio from Azienda Santa Barbara, a bottle that confidently asserts that just because you have absence of fruit does not mean you have an absence of genuine delicious flavor. Take for instance the freshly picked snow peas which hums to the forefront here. It is lively, tender and sweet – anything but fruity. Then there is the gentle, sweetened perfumed accents of butter lettuce, again, very pretty, but not remotely fruity. Beneath all of it, playing a very minor supporting role (without any speaking lines whatsoever) you will see a core of lemon and mineral helping drive things along. This a wine first and foremost about total thirst quenching (and inducing) green freshness. And when all those nuanced green flavors shimmer off of a fresh summer salad, good things happen.

A herbivore’s heaven and an exceptional weeknight glass of wine for everyone else, don’t miss this striking value to highlight any light-fare on your table.

2017 Azienda Santa Barbara Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi

Kermit Lynch’s Note: During a recent tasting trip in the Marche, this stainless steel tank vinified Verdicchio was one of the stars among many, many wines tasted. The perfume is entrancing—at once fresh and rounded, and typical of the grape. There is absolutely no pretension. Pure Verdicchio, vinified and aged with no makeup.”

More about the Wine

I was told Kermit Lynch was in central Italy, enjoying lunch at a café when the locals urged him to taste Stefano Antonucci’s verdicchio. A bottle was uncorked and, of course, Mr. Lynch was smitten. Mr. Antonucci, a former banker come wine guy, has become a colorful character for the Italian wine press. Since 1984 his estate, Azienda Santa Barbara, located in the appellation of Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi in Marche, enjoys a three-decade track record of creating benchmark wines in the region. Judging by this 2017 entry level bottling, we can understand Mr. Lynch’s genuine excitement for finding him.

Posted in Daily Flash By Tim Sellon