Wine of the week: a top-level vermentino that just keeps giving

This Sardinian white brings loads of vitality and a racy, stone-fruit-bitterness to a fine lunch.

2019 Vermentino di Sardegna, Antonella Corda, Sardinia, Italy

£19,; £19.95,

Ten years ago, after finishing her masters in viticulture at the prestigious Fondazione Edmund Mach Foundation in Trentino, Antonella Corda, the grand-daughter of famed viticulturalist Antonio Argiolas, founded her winery, a few miles north of Cagliari in the village of Serdiana. Antonio, who lived to the age of 104, left Antonella two of his prized vineyards, and this wine comes from his favourite, Mitza Manna.

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Top-level vermentino is a rare beast as, more often than not, it runs out of puff around the £15-mark. This wine, however, is a “Grand Cru”. I first tasted Corda’s wines on a mini-break to Sardinia a few years ago and I have never forgotten the vitality and racy, stone-fruit-bitterness which they bring to a fine lunch. There is mid-palate weight here, too, which means that there is fascinating sleight of hand in play. You can pour and drink this pin-sharp white as an electrifying aperitif, but if you bring canapés into view, it grows in the glass. Keep going and move to sashimi and ceviche dishes and it blossoms even more. Then launch a volley of lobsters or a cavalcade of serious quality fish mains and it, again, steps up like a pole-vaulter clearing ever-higher bars. They make a wickedly refreshing raspberry and fresh-herb soaked Cannonau here, too (drink this with vitello tonnato), but we will have to wait a few months for the 2019 to arrive because the ’18 is sold out. I, for one, cannot wait.

Matthew Jukes is a winner of the International Wine & Spirit Competition’s Communicator of the Year (

Matthew Jukes

Matthew Jukes has worked in the UK wine business for well over three decades and during this time has written 14 wine books.  

Matthew regularly lectures, judges, speaks at wine conferences and runs masterclass tastings for both corporate and private clients all over the world. Matthew is also the creator of his ground-breaking initiative, the One Day Wine School, an indulgent day of tasting and learning first performed in 2006.

He has been the MoneyWeek wine correspondent since 2006 and has written a weekly column for the Daily Mail’s Weekend Magazine since 1999. His four highly-acclaimed, annual wine reports – the Burgundy En Primeur Report, the Bordeaux En Primeur Report, the Piemonte Report and the 100 Best Australian Wines – are published on his website,

Matthew is one of the world’s leading experts on Australian wine and, with Brisbane-based wine writer Tyson Stelzer, runs an annual competition in Australia to find ‘The Great Australian Red’.  He was made Honorary Australian of the Year in the UK at the 2012 Australia Day Foundation Gala dinner. 

Matthew is a winner of the International Wine and Spirit Competition's Communicator of the Year Trophy.  His thoughts, recommendations and tastings notes are followed very closely by the wine world at large.