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Agricola Punica Barrua 2016
Ideally drink until 2029.
Decanting time: 1 hour.
Vivid, deep ruby red in color. This hearty, full-bodied wine from a new Sardinian vineyard delivers a complex, intense if still young nose of ripe red fruits, dry herb with smoky hints of licorice and myrtle. Full, harmonious mouthfeel opening to reveal elegant chocolate and cassis flavors which follow a consistent line, exposing balanced, juicy tannins that extend through to a long, nutty finish underscored by subtle notes of caramel. Muted oak flavor displays the vintner’s success at producing a wine that is enjoyable both young and mature. Very sophisticated, yet extremely drinkable with a lasting impression of its soft, dark and balanced craftsmanship. Aged in 30% new French oak barriques for 18 months. Deliberate, expert workmanship underscore this vintage, which can be enjoyed on its own or paired with stews, lamb or game.
An ambitious offering by winemaker Sebastiano Rosa, this wine benefits from the proximity to the ocean for its cool breezes to moderate the hot, southwestern dry summers. The vintage is made from 85% Carignano, 10% Cabernet and 5% Merlot, cultivated in the blended calcareous, clay and sandy soil of the winemaker’s old Narcao and Barrua vineyards. The reliably low acidity of the Carignano grape cultivated in the Sulcis region lends to a distinct, refined smoothness.
Santadi Carignano del Sulcis Terre Brune 2015
Located on the Sulcis peninsula in southern Sardinia just a few kilometres from the coast, Santadi was founded in 1960 by a group of local winemakers. Although originally conceived as a cooperative to produce and sell bulk wine around the world, in 1970 the visionary Antonello Pilloni took over the management of Santadi and pioneered a new approach of producing quality bottled wines which express the unique terroir of the region.
Santadi’s flagship wine is their Terre Brune which is crafted from old vineyards in the lower part of Sulcis. Here the vines are ungrafted and grow as untrained bush vines in the traditional local style. Once ripe the grapes are harvested by hand in late September or October and fermented in stainless steel tanks. Following vinification the wine is transferred to new French oak barrels for 16-18 months of maturation. The wine then ages for another 12 months in the bottle before it is ready for release.
Rich plums, blueberries and baking spice notes define the nose while the first sip reveals a smooth texture, generous full body, and well-rounded tannins. Intense dark fruit, chocolate and sweet spice notes linger on the tongue, making this a great match for red meat dishes or game.
Capichera Assaje 2017
The estate dates back to the 19th century when it already had a strong local reputation for producing delicious wines, but the modern story of Capichera begins in 1980 when the family bottled their first Vermentino wine. Today the family work some 50 hectares of vineyards and are renowned for their pioneering approach and commitment to producing benchmark examples of classic Sardinian wines.
Assaje is made from the Carignan grape which is popular on the island as it is well suited to the dry Mediterranean climate. The fruit is sourced from estate vineyards in Sulcis and Gallura in northern Sardinia which are planted at an altitude of 100 metres above sea level. To preserve freshness the grapes are harvested at night by hand with half of the wine aged in oak barrels and the remainder in stainless steel tanks.
On the nose there are inviting hints of dark berries and cherries along with baked earth, leather and cigar box spice. The first sip reveals a generous full body, silky smooth tannins and intense black fruit flavours which linger long on the tongue. A great partner for hearty red meat dishes or fresh pasta served with a rich tomato-based sauce.
Capichera Lintori Vermentino Sardegna 2019
The Italian island of Sardinia is rightfully famed for its crisp and refreshing Vermentino wines, and this bottle from Capichera is a classic example of the style. On the nose there are inviting hints of dried herbs, tropical fruit and sea salt while the first sip reveals a bright acidity, light body and very clean finish with a delicate touch of minerality. The vibrant flavour profile makes this very easy to sip by the pool or in the backyard. It also pairs perfectly with lighter dishes like sushi, seafood and most fresh fish dishes.
A true benchmark producer for typical Sardinian wines, the Capichera winery was founded in 1980 and today has some 50 hectares of estate vineyards. Their philosophy focuses on producing the very best quality fruit, and they have a respected reputation for their excellent Vermentino white wines. The land has been owned by the family since the 19th century and was well known locally for the quality of its wines even then.
Capichera bottled their first Vermentino in 1980 in what was then a dramatic new style, richer and with greater ageing potential than the standard local whites. It was even described by famous Italian wine writer Luigi Veronelli as “a Mediterranean Montrachet”. Today Capichera continues to hold true to this pioneering spirit and is regarded as one of northern Sardinia’s top wineries.
Agricola Punica Samas 2019
Ideally drink now to 2024.
As far as wine production goes, Agricola Punica is recognized as one of the top names in the industry, basing its philosophy on a joint venture of top wine experts in the southwest region of Sardinia. Made from a blend of Chardonnay and Vermentino varietals, this sophisticated wine is fresh, clean and produced with the maintenance of each grape’s distinct characteristics at the forefront of the vintner’s objectives. The wine has a strong, crisp nose of apple pie with an underlying hint of salt, and minerality. Fresh flavor add to the nose with a subtle burst of the tropical fruits lime, passion fruit, pineapple skin and papaya. With its expert yet gentle melding of sweet and savoury, it is so enjoyable that it might just become your new favorite summer wine.
Cryo-maceration techniques are used to protect the wine from oxidation, resulting in a bright and vibrant expression. Farmed sustainably, each varietal is vinified separately, resting for 3 months together in small concrete vats after blending. This wine is never filtered or clarified, delivering an exceptional level of freshness and character. A great value wine that is sure to please. It shines brightest when served with sushi, vegetarian dishes, young cheese and poultry.
Santadi Cannonau di Sardegna Noras 2017
Originally founded as a cooperative by a group of local winemakers in 1960, Santadi is located on the Sulcis peninsula a short hop from Sardinian’s gorgeous southern coast. The cooperative enjoyed a change of fortune in 1970 with the arrival of Antonello Pilloni who switched the focus from producing bulk wine to making quality bottled wines which express Sardinia’s unique terroir.
This powerful red is a textbook example of the famous Cannonau di Sardegna, the local name for the Grenache grape variety. The variety was brought to Sardinia from Spain many centuries ago and thrives here thanks to the hot summer days which are moderated by cooling breezes from the nearby Mediterranean. The fruit used for this bottling is sourced from vines planted on stony and granitic soils which are harvested by hand to ensure optimal quality.
Once in the winery the grapes are fermented in stainless steel tanks and aged in French oak barrels for 6 months followed by another 6 months of ageing in the bottle. Blueberry, blackberry and cassis dominate on the nose, while the first sip reveals a smooth texture, bright streak of acidity, and medium body with refined tannins. The elegance of this wine makes it an excellent gastronomic partner for roasted meats, game, charcuterie and hard cheeses.