It is called Pigato in Liguria, Favorita in Piedmont, Rolle in France, and in Sardinia, the earliest name “fermentino” probably referred to the fresh wine’s spritziness. Robust, fragrant, floral, minerally, and terroir expressive, this grape claims its native terroir in the very heart of the Mediterranean Sea. It is most widely known from the Island of Sardegna but thrives along the coast of Italy, in Liguria and Tuscany, and in pockets along the south of France as well. It is a prolific grape variety with capability to produce a versatile range of wines with beautiful aromatics and, most importantly, ample natural acidity.
Liguria is really pretty special… which seems a redundant statement when referring to the embarrassment of riches Italy boasts in the category of “special.” The boomerang shaped Mediterranean boundary with waterfront property ranging from historic and rustic fishing villages to the ritz and romance of the Riviera. From the beach to vineyards is an intensely steep climb in most parts of Liguria, earning the region one of the very few in Italy with truly ‘heroic viticulture’ outside of the Alps (sometimes referred to as the Maritime Alps).
This wine is all minerality scented with a lovely sweet fennel flower interwoven into that coastal breeze that just warms my soul (can you picture yourself sipping in the Ligurian sunshine yet?) Soft grapefruit, kaffir lime and star fruit are beautifully ripe throughout on the long palate, and the finish has that touch of saltiness like licking the inside of an oyster shell.