Introducing Liguria Part 2: Colli di Luni, Riviera Ligure di Ponente, Ormeasco and Rossese
The situation of the denomination Colli di Luni is slightly easier. We are in the eastern part of the region. Softer hills are similar to the ones you find in the neighbouring Toscana so the wines we are going to enjoy here in this part of Liguria are not that different fromt the ones made in the northern part of Toscana. Colli di Luni Rosso – the red one – is from Sangiovese and local grapes and it is considered as a small scaled Chianti, while the Colli di Luni Bianco – the white – from Vermentino and Trebbiano Toscano is a version that reminds white made in Bolgheri (Toscana): elegant, aromatic, herbaceous and dry. One of the best versions of the Vermentino grape you can find in Italy, this is ideal for fried fish and raw fish.
Going west, about 200 km from our last stop, there is the Riviera Ligure di Ponente: asides from the famous touristic place, it is a denomination which includes some of the most important wines of Liguria. Riviera Ligure di Ponente Vermentino is among the best white wines in Italy and an exemplary version of Vermentino. Same for the Riviera Ligure di Ponente Pigato, a bit more intense than the Vermentino: Pigato is a local grape so mineral and sapid, amazing if aged for 3-4 years. They are both full-bodied and, at the same time, silky and soft. Ever heard about pesto? This sauce – a blend of pine nut, basil, olive oil, parmigiano reggiano, garlic, salt, fiore sardo cheese – is an icon of the Italian cuisine and you will find it pairs perfectly with Pigato and Vermentino wines from this part of Liguria. It is usually used to season pasta and other local delicacies.
Among the reds, we love to mention the Ormeasco, made using Dolcetto grapes, not that far from Piemonte’s red wine from the same grape. Currant flavour, fruity and floral, this is a typical mountain red, dry, strong and sharp.
Another red you don’t want to miss for sure is the Rossese, divided into two denominations lying just before the French border: Riviera Ligure di Ponente Rossese and Rossese di Dolceacqua (sometimes called simply Dolceacqua). Made with Rossese grape, this is a really interesting and distinctive wine, as elegant as some of Piemonte’s red wines, in this case with mediterranean undergrowth aromas, it goes magnificently with mushrooms and white meat.
Jakob Montrasio ©
Pank Seelen ©
acca 67 ©