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Posts Tagged ‘Sardinia

Native Sardinians

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Isola dei Nuraghi 2013, Thesys, Pala ($20.40, 12476671)
A blend of 80% Bovale Sardo (which may or may not be related to Spain’s Bobal or Graciano) from 70-year-old vines and 20% Syrah from 30-year-old vines. Manually harvested. After pressing, the juice is macerated on the skins with added yeasts for 10 days. Alcoholic and malolactic fermentation then ensue. Matured in new oak (Allier) barrels for three months. 13.5% ABV. Quebec agent: Élixirs vins et spiritueux.
Meaty nose: dark red fruit, bacon, ground beef and oak. In the piehole, it’s full-bodied, rich, chewy and, notwithstanding the very ripe fruit, quite dry. The high extract, round tannins and juicy acidity make for a mouthful but a balanced and savoury one with a certain complexity. Some ash and oak surface on the sustained finish. (Buy again? Along with some beef or lamb for the grill, sure.)

Monica di Sardegna 2011, I Fiori, Pala ($15.45, 11766714)
100% Monica from vines planted 25 to 30 years ago. The grapes are pressed. The juice is macerated on the skins and with the addition of selected yeasts for five days, after which fermentation takes place, all in temperature-controlled (22-24°C) stainless steel tanks. Light clarification and transfer to underground cement tanks for six months’ maturation follow. 14% ABV. Quebec agent: Élixirs vins et spiritueux.
Unexpectedly complex nose: candied red currants, ash, Keds, roast lamb juice, menthol and turned earth. Velvety, smooth, ripe-sweet yet savoury. Fresh and supple despite the rustic tannins and slatey underlay. The clean finish brings a faint alcoholic flare. A fine candidate for an everyday red. Sure to be compatible with Mediterranean stews and braised dishes and probably more than OK with pizza. (Buy again? Sure.)

MWG March 12th tasting: flight 4 of 7.

Written by carswell

May 3, 2015 at 12:39

Nuragus 101

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Nuragus di Cagliari 2013, I Fiori, Pala ($16.70, 12391942)
100% Nuragus from 45-year-old vines growing in southern Sardinia, near Cagliari. The grapes are pressed immediately upon arriving at the winery. The resulting must is allowed to clarify by settling. Fermented in temperature-controlled (15°C) stainless steel tanks with selected yeasts, then clarified (filtered?). Matured in stainless steel vats for a few months before bottling. 13% ABV. Quebec agent: Élixirs vins et spiritueux.
White flowers, white fruit and hints of hay and lemon peel. Ripe and densish on the palate. A touch of residual sugar rounds the attack but the yellow apple turns appealingly sour on the bitter-edged, acid-nippy finish. Not complex or deep but unusual, flavourful and delivering good QPR. Uses? Sip while making dinner or, as the winery suggests, serve with non-oily white fish and seafood simply prepared in the Mediterranean style. (Buy again? Sure.)

MWG March 12th tasting: flight 1 of 7.

Written by carswell

April 28, 2015 at 20:15

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.)

Written by carswell

June 4, 2014 at 10:24

Posted in Tasting notes

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