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Pimped up

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IGT Isola dei Nuraghi 2011, Iselis, Argiolas ($25.95, 11896560)
Part of the winery’s Prestige line. Monica (90%), Bovale Sardo (5%) and Carinera (aka Carignan, 5%) from ten- to 30-year-old vines grown in the Iselis vineyard. Manually harvested. Macerated and fermented in stainless steel tanks at 28 to 30°C for ten to 12 days. Transferred to glass-lined concrete tanks for ten to 15 days’ malolactic fermentation. Matured in French oak casks for 12 months. 14.5% ABV.
There are wines you don’t much care for on opening but come to like as they breathe and unfurl. And then there are wines where just the opposite happens. For me, this falls into the second category. Attractive enough nose of plum and baked earth with an anise/mint high note and, like a red flag, oaky vanilla and spice. A sip delivers a full-bodied mouthful of ripe and fairly forward fruit, bedrock minerals, good acidity and fine tannins that surge and turn astringent on the long, inky finish. The oak swells unavoidably and, while it does add sweetness to what would otherwise be a very dry wine, its presence seems at odds with the earthy, unpretentious fruit. Why do winemakers insist on pimping up local varieties? Food – in this instance, pan-roasted lamb – damped down the oak and sweetened the fruit, so think of this as a food wine. It might be better in a couple of years, when the wine will have had time to digest the oak. (Buy again? Nah, I’ll look elsewhere, maybe the Tradition line.)

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Written by carswell

June 4, 2014 at 10:24

Posted in Tasting notes

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