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    Italian Winecation – 1st Stop Sardinia | Watson's Wine

    Italian Winecation – 1st Stop Sardinia

    By Guest Blogger – Live Like Italian Work Like German

    VIA Italian Wine Maestro

    Because of the pandemic, I haven’t been able to visit Italy in person for a while. While many people are having staycation, foodcation, seascation on their holidays, I have started my own “winecation” of Italian wine. For a start, I have chosen Sardinia (Sardegna) as my first destination.

    I chose Sardinia for a few reasons. First, recently I have studied an Italian wine course and the last region introduced was Sardinia. Secondly, as a fan of Inter Milan, my favourite player in the Club Nicolò Barella is from Sardinia’s capital Cagliari, making me particularly curious about this Island with a population of less than 2 million. Sardinia lies west of the Italian peninsula, and Corsica of France (the birthplace of Napoleon) is in its North. It was ruled by Spain for a period of time, therefore the grapes varieties and winemaking both show some Spanish influences.  

    A Beautiful Island Sardinia

    When I first entered the world of Italian wine, I believe that I, like most wine lovers, started with Piemonte (Piedmont), Toscana (Tuscany), and Veneto. However, with the increasing prices of wines in these regions in recent years, I began to include more options from other appellations other than the most popular Barolo, Barbaresco, Brunello, etc., and Sardinia was one of them.

    Sardinia has 1 DOCG and 30 DOC / IGTs. Although the popularity of the wines of this hot tourist destination is not particularly high, the most iconic wine grapes in the region, Cannonau (Grenache Noir) and Vermentino are familiar to wine lovers and planted across the Island. In addition, there are Monica, Carignano (also known as Carignan), Bovale,  Pascale, and Nuragus, which the residents enjoy on a daily basis. It is worth mentioning that the quality of the dessert wine and spirits on the island is also very good.

    A Hidden Gem of Italy Wines

    What I want to share with you this time is a bottle of wine that I love and hate at the same time – Argiolas Korem Isola Dei Nuraghi 2017. The main reason I “hate” it is that the name of the grape is easily confusing. Why? Sardinia actually has two grapes named after Bovale, Bovale Sardo and Bovale Grande. Bovale Grande is actually Carignano; Bovale Sardo has nothing to do with it (rumor has it that it is actually Graciano from Spain). Argiolas Korem Isola Dei Nuraghi 2017 is mainly made with Bovale Sardo.

    Wines made of Bovale Sardo are generally darker in color, with relatively high tannins and acidity, and are generally blended with Cannonau, Carignano, and Monica to increase the acidity, structure, and colour of the wine. Not many wineries make wines with Bovale Sardo as the main grape, but Argiolas is an exception.

    The ancient wine region entering the world stage – Argiolas

    Argiolas is a family-owned winery established back to the early 20th century. Although it has been passed down for many generations, the winemaking philosophy and persistence have not wavered. They continue to discover the potential of the forgotten ancient native grapes, and local grapes are always the core of their winemaking. In their eyes, Sardinia’s wine is a treasure that has yet to be discovered by all the drinkers, and delivers world-class quality. What the winemaker can do is to fully express the original characteristics of the grapes and terroir and to maintain the quality of the wine by reducing the yield. The winery uses modern methods of winemaking, using small French wooden barrels and hiring Giacomo Tachis, the “father of Super Tuscan”, as a consultant. After years of hard work, Argiolas has earned a great reputation in the international market.

    Argiolas Korem Isola Dei Nuraghi 2017 Tasting Notes

    The wine had a deep ruby red color. Once it was poured into the glass, it was instantly very open, wafting with aromas of blueberries, blackcurrants, raspberries, and berries, mixed with some Mediterranean spices, tobacco, and coffee. The entry was round, and the concentration and balance of the fruit were at a medium-to-high level. The alcohol level was 15% but was not felt at all. It showed a bright acidity and tannins that were powerful but not coarse, giving it a great structure. If you’ve never tasted Sardinia before, this is a great entry point.

    About guest writer @livelikeitalianworklikegerman

    A lover of Italian and German culture since he was a kid. Stepped into the wine world by chance and drifted in the
    boundless “ocean of wine” ever since. While he realized that there was a lot that he needed to explore, through sharing and communication, he met friends with wine and strengthened his love of wine.