The village of Usini is a picturesque patchwork of vineyards, olive groves, vegetable gardens and pastures nestled in the Logudoro hills in northwest Sardinia. Giovanni Cherchi is considered a pioneer of Sardinian viticulture and winemaking in this region not only for rediscovering the ancient varietal of Cagnulari but also for his zealous work to improve the quality of Vermentino. Throughout the 70s, Giovanni sold his fruit to neighboring wineries before launching Vinicola Cherchi in 1980. Today, the estate, which encompasses 74 acres of hillside vines that sit approximately 656 ft. in elevation, is operated by his children: Salvatore, Annalisa and Maria. 60% of the land is devoted to Vermentino, 35% to Cagnulari and the remainder to Cannonau. The soil composition in the Cherchi vineyards, which varies from the limestone-heavy south-east slope to a predominance of clay in the north-west, allows for the creation of balanced, round and complex wines.
This sparkling Vermentino is crafted in the ‘Metodo Classico’ or Champagne Method, yet it is uniquely Sardinian in character. The signature traits of the native grape manifest itself in the wine’s fresh, floral fragrance and white peach aromatics. 18 months aging on the lees lends the wine a delicately rich mouthfeel accompanied by exotic flavors of lychee and kaffir lime, yet a vivid acidity and notes of chalky limestone and green apple skin shift the tone of the wine and brighten the palate. The peachy/floral notes reemerge on the finish, which is long and mouthwateringly crisp. Effortlessly enjoyable on its own, this would also be killer with a thai squid salad or Peruvian-style ceviche!