Vermentino and Cannonau di Sardegna may not yet be household words but wine lovers are starting to realize that wines of Sardinia have that ‘autochthonous’ character that is so in vogue. These indigenous grapes are what make Sardinian wines so unique.
Gallura is the leading wine area but the Oristano and Mandrolisai areas are staking their claim to fame. The 2015 edition of the Gambero Rosso lists 13 Tre Bicchieri award winners. Not too shabby when you see that Calabria had 4, Basilicata 4 and Puglia 13. And the Grower of the Year was also from Sardinia, Giuseppe Gabbas who is one of the smaller producers at 80,000 bottles. Called a man of few words, his wines “have plenty to say for themselves.” The winery has a spectacular location among the vineyards and his award-winning cannonau has “finesse, elegance, complexity and drinkability.”
Argiolas, at 2,200,000 bottles, is the 2nd largest producer with 230 hectares of vineyards. This 3rd generation family winery has done more than any other to bring prestige and recognition to wines of Sardinia. They received their 3 Glass award for the Turriga 2010, although the Angialis 2011 made it to the finals. This is a brand that you’ll find easily in the States, although very few of the top-rated Turriga made it to the US. If you do find it, it will cost you about $80. Their Costamolino vermentino, which is Sardinia’s signature white grape, sells for about $15.
The largest winery in Sardinia is Sella & Mosca. It produces almost 7 million bottles which makes it one of the largest in Italy. Whereas Argiolas is in the southern part of the island, Sella & Mosca is in the north, a few miles from Alghero, where we will be staying on our 2016 wine tour to Sardinia. In fact their top wine is the Alghero Marchese di Villamarina which received a 3 Bicchieri for the ’19 vintage. And to try something really unique, buy a bottle of their torbato. They are the only producers of this grape on the island.
Be sure to stay tuned for Part 2 of our Wines of Sardinia Series. In the meantime, you can learn more about our 2016 Sardinia Wine Tour here.