This week’s wine of the week is from the beautiful island of Sardinia. Sardinia has been on my mind a lot lately as the weather gets nicer and my desire to go on vacation becomes stronger. Sardinia is a magical island for exploring, going to the beach, sailing, and so much more. Its wines and foods are getting more well known but many still think only of Cannonau and Vermentino when thinking about Sardinia.
This particular wine is made by a famed group of people – Agricola Punica is a joint venture between Sebastiano Rosa, Sardinian winery Cantina di Santadi, Tenuta San Guido, Santadi President Antonello Pilloni and legendary Tuscan consulting oenologist Giacomo Tachis.
Rosa is the winemaker at Tenuta San Guido and Santadi and they each own 40% of the venture. Marchese Nicolò Incisa della Rocchetta is the President of the winery and owns ten percent, with Giacomo Tachis and Santadi President Antonello Pilloni equally sharing the remain ten percent. The winery owns a 370 acre estate in the southwest of Sardinia. The vineyards are located in the Carignano del Sulcis DOC area but the wine is an I.G.T. of Isola dei Nuraghi, a reference to the stone pillars that dot the landscape from the Nuragic civilization from the Neolithic age. I did a project for this region last year for Valentine’s day and I have been dying to go visit ever since.
Apparently, the Barrua vineyard is a bit inland from the coast and grows Carignano, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The soils are a mix of clay and sand. The vines here are very hearty. Temperatures are hot and the warm African wind known as the Scirocco blows constantly. Luckily the sea mitigates the hot breezes and climate. Carignano first came to the region with the Phoenicians according to local lore.
Barrua I.G.T. is a gorgeous, polished wine with spice and great fruit and floral aromas and flavors. It has juicy, sweet tannins thanks to the ripeness of the grapes. It also has nice minerality. I had the occasion to taste this wine again at Vinitaly this year during the Opera Wine portion of the show, a joint venture between the Wine Spectator and Vinitaly/Veronafiere. Agricola Punica, together with five other wineries, was added to the list of the Wine Spectator’s top 100 Italian wines for the first time this year.