Saturday, August 1, 2015

The Native Grapes of Sardinia with 2010 Argiolas Costera Cannonau

I can't believe we're in our 10th month and 10th region in Italy discussing the food, wine and travel.  We have a great group of bloggers here with travel expertise and food and wine knowledge that we share with you month by month. This month #ItalianFWT virtually is taking you to the region of Sardinia. You can see my preview post on Sardinia from earlier in the week giving you an overview of the region.

It's summer time and mentally or physically being on the beach is just what the doctor ordered for most, especially when you live in the north in Boston like I do and just had a record year for snow. That's why Sardinia is the perfect feature today as they have over 300 days of sunshine with a nice warm, Mediterranean climate with low rain.

Today I wanted to share with you a wine from Cantine Argiolas winery located in Sardinia. This winery is located in Serdiana, which is northeast of the capital Cagliari. The winery has about 600 acres and produces about 400,000 bottles from their multiple estates. The specific vineyard, Costera, is located in one of the estates, Siurgus Donigala.

Cantine Argiolas began back in 1938 with the patriarch of the family, Antonio Argiolas. He later passed it down to his sons Franco and Giuseppe whom have now passed it down to their children. 

Today the 3rd generation of the Argiolas family is operating the winery. Cantine Argiolas replanted their vineyards in the 1980's and has shifted the focus to be fully concentrated on quality compared to the days when quantity mattered most.  Plus, they have enlisted the help of expert wine consultant Giacomo Tachis.  The family's philosophy is to focus on native varieties of the island.

Cantine Argiolas winery in Serdiana Sardinia
The wines of Argiolas by Pietro Zanarini

The grape of the 2010 Argiolas Costera Cannonau that I'm sharing with you today wine is primarily made from the main native red grape of the island, Cannonau, but is also blended with other natives grapes including Carignano and Bovale. According to wine searcher, almost 1 out of every 5 bottles is actually made from the Cannonau grape. Argiolas grows their grapes on the gobelet vine training system.   You may be more familiar with Cannonau than you realize. It's actually the same grape as Garnacha from Spain and Grenache from France. It's been known that this grape arrived in Sardinia during the 13th century by the Aragonese from Aragon, Spain.

cannonau grape in sardegna
Rows of Cannonau in Sardegna by Viaggio Routard

The 2010 Argiolas Costera Cannonau actually does a secondary malolactic fermentation in glass lined concrete and then in small oak barriques for 8-10 months. You can learn why producers and wineries in Italy use concrete in their winemakingfrom an earlier post of mineFull bodied, structured and warm at 14% alcohol, with juicy blackberries and a hint of pepper. I sampled this wine just sitting on the patio with some pecorino cheese and a meatball pizza I made, but Argiolas recommends some roast suckling pig and lamb as well. 

Rated 90 points by Antonio Galloni of Vinous “Vinous / Antonio Galloni - "Another striking, entry-level wine, the 2010 Isola dei Nuraghi Costera caresses the palate with juicy dark cherries, plums, tobacco, spices and licorice. Elements of sweetness, inner perfume and pure silkiness distinguish the Costera from the vast majority of its peers. A hint of sweet flowers and mint lingers on the finish." SRP $16

Making a meatball pizza with ricotta and mozzarella2010 Argiolas Costera Cannonau di Sardegna

Copyright of Winebow Group

Have you tried some of the native grapes of Sardinia for yourself?  Wait......there's more!  My fellow bloggers have lots more to share with you so check out their blogs below.  If you're reading this in time also you can join us live on Twitter at 11am EST at #ItalianFWT and tell us all about your experiences with the island of Sardegna or come and learn something new about this region.

Italophia - How I was "Swept Away" in Sardinia
Enofylz - Sardinia Style Seafood Paella and Cantina di Gallura Canayli Vermentino #ItalianFWT
Vino in Love - Exploring Sardinian Wine
Rockin Red Blog - Mountainous Food & Wine of Sardegna 
Confessions of a Culinary Diva - The Food & Wine of Sardegna
Cooking Chat - Summer Spaghetti with Garlicky Shrimp and a Vermentino
Food Wine Click - What Wines Goes with Octopus?  A Sardinian Investigation
Culinary Adventures with Camilla - Grano Saraceno Risotto con Funghi e Miele 

Thanks for joining us today! Next month September 5th we feature the region of Abruzzo.  Let me know if you'd like to join our group.  Ciao ciao for now!

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