2013 Argiolas Cannonau di Sardegna Costera

Year: 2013
Appellation: Sardinia
Country: Italy
Wine Advocate: 90
Vinous Media: 91
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 14.0%
Price :
$12.95

"The 2013 Cannonau di Sardegna Costera hits all the right buttons. This is a steady and well presented red wine from the heart of the Mediterranean. It shows a high level of confidence and boldness with big, black cherry aromas followed by more subtle nuances of spice, tobacco and freshly milled black pepper. Although the wine tastes very dry, it is not without its softness and plushness in terms of texture.

Founded in 1938 by Antonio Argiolas, this is one of the most important quality wineries on the island of Sardinia. Argiolas farms 240 hectares of vines (with native grapes such as Cannonau, Nuragus and Monica) in the southern part of the island near Cagliari. This year, I was especially impressed by the gorgeous Nasco-based white wine Iselis and the Vermentino Merì. Both wines are new to me." (WA)

"Healthy full red. Deep aromas of blackberry, black cherry and mocha are complemented by balsamic nuances. Concentrated, sappy and savory, displaying saline nuances to the black cherry and plum flavors. Finishes with serious depth and the broad, polished tannins to support aging." (VM)

Winery Notes:
Argiolas is the foremost wine estate on the island of Sardinia producing archetypal wines from native varietals. The winery was founded in 1938 by Antonio Argiolas and was the first on the island to pursue quality over quantity. Today, the Argiolas family is recognized as Sardinia’s leading producer of wine.

Sardinia is the second-largest island in the Mediterranean and lies roughly 190 miles west of Italy's mainland. The vineyards of Argiolas are located in Serdiana in the Trexenta hills just north of the capital of Cagliari. Argiolas farms 600 acres of native Sardinian grapes including Nuragus, Monica, and Cannonau.

Costera, a name referring to hills, is made from Cannonau (Garnacha or Grenache). It is the workhorse red grape of Sardinia where it is likely to have arrived centuries ago from Spain, although an alternative theory suggests that Cannonau originated in Sardinia. In either case, Cannonau is well-adapted to the warm Sardinian climate and gives a deeply-colored, full-bodied red wine.

Tasting Notes:
Costera shows the typicity of the Cannonau grape with flavors of very ripe strawberries, black cherries, herbs, and spices. The warmth and intense sunlight of southern Sardinia can be seen and felt in the wine with unexpectedly deep color and fullness on the palate. French oak barriques provide rounded tannins and flavors of vanilla.

Food Pairing:
Meat cooked over an open flame is an artform in Sardinia and specialties such as spit-roasted suckling pig or lamb seem perfect for the rich and complex flavors of Cannonau. The cooking fire is often imbued with local herbs and myrtle, flavors that are perfectly mirrored in a glass of Cannonau.