Wednesday, 1 November 2017
Sardinia Hidden Gems Masterclass
Sardinia with Peter McCombie MW
200km off the Italian coast and previously ruled by the Spanish and the Savoyards, Sardinia is something of a hidden gem itself; it is one of those places of which the only thing I know about it is that everyone who goes says it is lovely.
I came away from this Masterclass with some appreciation of the complexity and largely non-Italian heritage of the island, but not yet a fully-formed sense of what Sardinia stands for - if anything.
If Sardinia does not yet have a strong oenological identity, it is definitely moving towards something more defined.
The grapes for many of these wines were mostly non-Italian, sometimes Spanish albeit by another name - Cannonau is Garnacha, for example - increasing the sense of unfamiliarity. A number of the wines, especially the reds, improved with extended aeration on a subsequent tasting, with the tannins softening and the aromas opening up.
Cantina di Mogoro Il Nuraghe Anastasia 2016 fragrant and floral with white pepper aromatics; good fruit and rounded with a supple texture.
Tenute Soletta Kyanos Bianco 2015 herbaceous and lemony-herbal, with some fresh Riesling character; fresh and mineral with a honeyed, leesy richness.
Tenute Olbios 'Lupus in Fabula' 2016 Riesling-esque with yellow stone fruit and minerality; rich-yet-dry.
Tenute Gregu Selenu 2016 expressive honeysuckle with some late-harvest character; ripe stone fruits, rich full and substantial
Carlo Pili Monica di Sardegna Ipno 2016 fresh, light, and fruity with cherries and berries
Cantina Mulleri "Cenere" 2016 bubblegum and red fruits; fresh, berryish and juicy with substantial old-vine underpinnings. A quaffer - but with class.
Cantina Nuraghe Crabioni Sussinku 2016 tar, spice, pepperiness and bramble with undergrowth; fresh, substantial and oaky with a firm texture.
Tenute L'Ariosa 'Pedrastella' 2014 floral, but still rather closed up; red fruits with sweet vanilla and freshness. Long with a good structure. Rioja-esque.
Cantina Meana Parèda 2015 smokiness, some jamminess yet fresh and firm with good backbone and structure; long and grippy.
Agricola Soi "Lun" 2014 quasi aged-character nose with sweet spice, balsamic and florality; caramelised fruits but with freshness, length and a supple texture.
Cantine di Orgosolo Neale 2015 fragrant with juicy red berry and cherry fruits, fresh and juicy, with fine tannins. Beaujolais-esque.
Tenute Rossini "Rosso Rossini" 2015 meaty and leathery with black fruits and fresh, slightly chunky tannins. Long and firm. Nebbiolo-esque.