Tuesday, October 20, 2015

What makes Carignano special in Sardinia with Agricola Punica

Unfortunately I haven't written about Sardinian wine too much on my blog. I love to talk about the native grapes that many of us are unfamiliar with that don't get the coverage they deserve, but I don't often get the chance to taste some of the grapes that I'd love to write more about. 

The Kobrand Tour d'Italia

Last month I had the opportunity to attend the Kobrand “Tour d'Italia” event tasting their icons of Italian wine. Kobrand is an importer and marketer or wines from all around the world and this event highlighted some of their Italian wine portfolio. It was an east coast road show where winemakers and representatives of the wineries shared their stories and wines with those in the trade.

Intro to Agricola Punica

Agricola Punica, established in 2002, is located on the island of Sardinia,also known as Sardegna. The winery is a joint venture between majority owner Sebastiano Rosa and one of the largest wine cooperatives of Sardinia, Cantina di Santadi. It's also partially owned by wine consultant Giacomo Tachis, Tenuta San Guido and the President of Santadi, Antonello Pilloni.

Agricola Punica winery
Sourced from Agricola Punica 
Located in southwestern Sardinia, Agricola Punica focuses on two native grapes of the island, the red grape Carignano and the white grape Vermentino.  You can sample their Carignano in their wines Barrua and Montessu, and their Vermentino is used in their wine Samas. Agricola Punica also uses other grapes for blending. The climate has mild winters and hot summers with the hot winds of Africa, known as the scirocco winds, blowing in off the sea.
Agricola Punica of Isola dei Nuraghi Sardinia

Agricola Punica Kobrand Tour d'Italia
About Sabastiano Rosa

One of the stakeholders in the company, Sebastiano Rosa, was running behind on his flight so I met his son at the tasting. Sabastiano has a long history in the wine world participating in the 1991 harvest of Chateau Lafite Rothschild as a cellar assistant. He was also General Manager at Tenuta di Argiano in Montalcino from 1992-2002 where he worked with winemaker and consulting enologist Giacomo Tachis. He led winemaking for Le Difese and Guidalberto from 2002-2012 at Tenuta San Guido, the famous winery known for producing Sassicaia. Today he is now the Director of Marketing and Sales for Agricola Punica.

The Wine

2005 Agricola Punica Montessu Isola dei Nuraghi
My favorite wine of the three I sampled (Montessu, Barrua and Samas) was the 2005 Agricola Punica Montessu Isola dei Nuraghi IGT.  Mostly composed of 60% Carignano with the rest split evenly between Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. It's matured up to 10 months in French oak and blended in cement for 30 days and filtered before bottling for 3 months. A balanced, full-bodied wine with silky rich ripe fruit and jam with a nice finish.

What is the significance of the name Isola dei Nuraghi of the IGT?
This is the largest encompassing DOC of Sardinia encompassing the whole island and smaller islands.  The Nuraghi are stone structures found throughout the island that were used as defense during what they call the Nuragic Age, which took place after the Bronze Age.  You can still view and visit these nuraghi today and they have even become a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Agricola Punica of Sardinia
Sourced  by Agricola Punica winery 

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