Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Sardinian Superstar

The second largest island in the Mediterranean, Sardinia is unique in many ways. It's climate, it's history, it's influence from civilizations long past, is as diverse as any other province of Italy.  In fact, Sardinia is often overlooked because of it's isolation, especially compared to it's more notable island sibling Sicily.  

From a viticultural standpoint, this couldn't be more true.  Argiolas is without question, a top quality producer of fine wine. They are the beginning and the end of the wine landscape in Sardinia - no other producer comes close to matching their quality.  The entire portfolio, red and whites are excellent.  It's no wonder, when you consider that the driving force behind Argiolas was none other than Giacomo Tachis, the creator of Tignanello, Sassicaia and Solaia.   

Their flagship red, is Korem, an exotic indigenous blend Bovale Sardo, (60%) Carignano (20%) and Cannonau (20%) grapes from the Sa Tanca vineyard. The wine is aged in a mix of french oak barriques and cement tanks for one year, of which 50% are new.  

The  2008 Argiolas Korem is superb.  The wine was decanted for about an hour before dinner and the aromatics exploded from the glass.  The deep violet color invites you to smell the wild berries, wild herbs, smoke and dark chocolate that are harmonious and intense.  On the palate, the wine displays intense and classy blackberry, wild berry, smoke, and leather flavors to match the aroma.  This is beyond good.  In fact, were this wine from Tuscany, it would likely cost $100.  The production of this wine is significant; almost 100,000 bottles. Yet, I don't seem to come across it often.  I'll be looking harder, and you should too. It's not cheap, but it's worth every penny and will gain continued grace and complexity if cellared 5-10 years. 
94 points.  About $28.  

Single Vineyard Korem: Bovale Sardo, Carignano & Cannonau


  1. The Winebow rep told me that Sardinia has a unique cuisine based upon lamb because the island has been invaded so many times. The inhabitants became so accustomed to retreating into the mountains (where lamb do well) that they neglected developing a seafood-based diet like most islands have. Don't know if that is true or not, but it would explain the great red wines that seem to come from this area.

    And not sure if you knew or not, but Cannonau is another name for Grenache.

  2. Bill, if I knew that about Cannonau, I forgot! What you say makes perfect sense if one has appreciation of history: Greeks, Carthagenians, Byzantines, Romans.. along with Sicily it's been conquered often. I'm searching now, and this stuff isn't coming up anywhere. The bottle I had was the last on the shelf and the UPC was crossed out like they weren't carrying it anymore. I should have asked, but was rushing. I'm contacting Winebow directly.

  3. John said: I'll be looking harder, and you (Dennis) should too.
    I sure hope those Greek invaders did my fore-fathers right and brought their pass-ports with them;-/
    John, do I see a book in the making?

  4. You're too optimistic of me Dennis. :) Who knows, maybe when the kids are out of the house and I have much more spare time. Or if the newly separated Antonio Galloni hires me!

  5. "You're too optimistic of me Dennis. :)" John, as so well stated in Inglorious Bastards: Nein! Nein! Nein!

  6. I promise, if I write a book, you can pen the forward, ok? And then, you'll get one of the first copies -signed by the author.