Intriguing Wine from the Island of Sardinia

We stumbled on a very intriguing wine this week – Argiolas Costera-  and we had to immediately share it with our readers because of the high quality at an amazing value – we purchased it for $13.  We were familiar with the whites from Sardinia (mostly using the Vermentino grape), but didn’t know much about the red wines.  Now we come to find that there is more red wine produced in Sardinia than white.
There are quite a few unusual native red grapes on Sardinia, such as Monica (a light, bright, berry-flavored grape), Carignano (also known as Mazuelo in Spain and Carignan in France – deep colored, very fruity grape), Bovale sardo (related to Carignano, but smaller less fruity grapes), and Cannonau (also known as Grenache).  The warm climate, and the constant air movement from Mediterranean breezes give the Cannonau grapes more concentration and more body.  It is fragrant, has good tannin to acid balance – just don’t be put off by the color.  It is not going to be the deep red you would expect from a Grenache-based wine.
The Argiolas Costera for 2011 is made up of 100% Cannonau (other years, the winemaker will mix in up to 15% other Sardinian varietals).  This wine is very rich, and matches well with summer grilled meats, especially beef.  There is lots of red berry aroma and flavor, and a nice lingering after taste.
This wine seems to be easy to find, so it will most likely make our “20 under $20” list which will be published in September.

Salute!

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