Sardinia, like Sicily is a spectacularly beautiful island off the coast of Italy with a long tradition of wine making. The various wine routes throughout the island lead to breathtaking landscapes where viticulture has been in existence since pre-Roman times, a tradition that began with the people of the nuraghi and continues today into the modern age. From the Romans to the late Sardinina-Piedmontese kingdom, through the Tuscan and Genovese fiefdoms, the Benedictine or Camaldolean monks and the Spaniards, each culture contributed to the wine making traditions in Sardinia.
Soil composition and climate play an important role in grape growing and wine production. With such a favorable combination of such elements, Sardinia is home to one of only four white DOCG wines: Vermentino di Gallura. Vermentino, with its delicate aromas of fruit and hint of almonds in the finish, is a wine to be enjoyed young. Vermentino di Gallura is typical of Sardinian wines – beauty, delicacy with exotic character and seductive flavors.
This piece is not about Vermentino, but instead I am writing about a stunning little red wine made by the Argiolas family. The winery was founded in 1937, and consists of approximately 575 acres in the breathtaking land just north of the town of Cagliari in southern Sardinia. The winery produces 2.3 million bottles annually across eleven different wines. The Perdera is a blend of 90% Monica, 5% Carignano and 5% Bovale Sardo grown in the eponymously named vineyard. The Perdera vineyard is 74 acres of primarily clay and limestone, situated at an elevation of 650 feet above sea level. The average age of the vines is 32 years with a fairly stingy yield of 3.2 tons/acre. The wine is fermented in stainless steel tanks and then aged for about six months in French oak casks, which gives the wine a smooth, silky finish. The intense ruby color is a hallmark of the Monica grape, a Spanish transplant that oddly is no longer found in Spain. While not a candidate for long aging, the Monica grape produces fresh, lively wines with exotic spiciness that are eminently quaffable. At an average per bottle price of $11.99, the Perdera makes for an ideal daily-drinker!
My tasting note:
Earthy, barnyard nose with fresh cherry, floral and allspice hints. Medium-to-full-bodied with firm acidity and dry tannins – good balance. Dark fruit core with tarry, plumy notes. Moderate length with a spicy, dried fruit aftertaste with hints of cedar and vanilla. Drinking well now and should hold for another 3 to 5 years in bottle. Great value!