The ampelographers’ DNA says Pigato is the same as Vermentino, but the Ruffinos make a Vermentino as well, and we’ll take their expertise over that of a test tube. The difference is in the skin: pigato in the Ligurian dialect means freckled (you can see a common root with pigment), and Pigato tends to give a more textured, golden wine with richer fruit. The vineyards of Punta Crena rise steeply out of the Ligurian Sea, set on terraces first built by the Romans. Ca da Rena sits within a kilometer of the water and shows the marine influence in the savory, saline background to the apricot and yellow flowers on the nose. In the mouth, it’s a textured, swirly wine (just follow us on that one, okay?), lively and active, with a fascinating tension between the kiwi, apricot, fig, and melon fruit and the marine salinity behind it. Nervy, with a complex interplay of fruit, salinity, and minerality (including a fascinating touch of ferrous from the red-clay soils), it may change your opinion of Italian whites.
Pairing: Have it with the seafood of its home: fried calamari, anchovies with pesto, or seared scallops with garlic butter.
REGION: Riviera Ligure di Ponente, Liguria, ITALY