Sardinia Day 5: Neptune’s Grotto & Soletta

Our visit visit today was supposed to have been a boat ride to the mouth of Neptune’s Grotto off the coast of Alghero, but the wind gods said it wasn’t meant to be. All visits were cancelled since the only entrance to the grotto was being splashed by incessant waves and it was too dangerous to visit. The best we could

Neptune's Grotto

Neptune’s Grotto

do was go by our bus to the top of the mountain and look down at the spectacular view. There were some 600 steps that would lead to the grotto but even that was closed. Too bad because the rock formations are spectacular.

This disappointing news was balanced by a wonderful visit to the Soletta Winery where Umberto Soletta would first lead us on a vertical tasting of 6 vintages of his Keramos cannonau. We also were told that our group was the very first to have a tasting and lunch at the new winery.

The Riserva spends 4 years aging: 1 in cement vats, 2 more in small barriques and an additional year in cement vats. There was a consensus that these were among the very best cannonau that we had in Sardinia. We asked everyone to select their top 5 most favorite wines and we’ll share them with you as soon as we tabulate the results.

Meanwhile here are the wines we tasted in our vertical tasting:

  1. 2006– dark plum aroma, onion skin color, a delicious wine
  2. 2007– a hot vintage, softer and more full-bodied
  3. 2008– similar to the 2006, very fruit-forward and delicious
  4. 2009– dark deep red, more tannic but still very drinkable
  5. 2010– Umberto started adding cabernet (40%) which gave this wine a completely different dimension
  6. 2011-This vintage had 30% cabernet sauvignon added, so both the ’10 and ’11 had to be designated as IGT. We also found out the reason: Umberto found that his wines sold better when international varieties were added. He exports 80% of his production.

My personal favorite was the 2007, which coincidentally had received a 3 bicchieri award.

farewell dinner Alghero

Our farewell dinner

farewell dinner Alghero

We celebrated birthdays and anniversaries

This was our last tasting of the tour before our farewell dinner and the vertical tasting was a great closure to our visit to this island of wonderful wine.

For more details on the wines, wineries, restaurants and much more, be sure to check out our daily blogs from Sardinia below:

Author Vin Marottoli

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