Sardinia


We’re still drinking rosé wines at our house, and I hope you are too. For the Wine of the Day, No. 298, I’m featuring a well-made, attractive and unusual rosé from Sardinia. The Serra Lori Rosato 2016 was made by the Argiolas Estate, founded in 1938, and is designated Isola dei Nuraghi IGT. The name does not indicate a specific region but rather the entire island of Sardinia and smaller islands off its coasts, intended for wines made from grapes that typically fall outside the normal appellation categories. The term “Nuraghi” refers to the unique conical stone towers found throughout the island, structures built between about 1900 and 730 B.C. Made completely in stainless steel, Serra Lori Rosato 2016 is a blend of 50 percent cannonau grapes, 25 percent monica, 20 percent carignano and 5 percent bovale. The color is a moderately robust copper-coral pink; aromas of fresh strawberries and mulberries are highlighted by notes of pomegranate, cloves, iodine and seashell, with a distinct accent of dried Mediterranean herbs. Medium body on the palate — nothing ethereal here — juicy red berry flavors and vibrant acidity and limestone-like minerality mark this as a rosé appropriate for all sorts of fare, from tapas and fresh seafood through grilled fish and pork tenderloin to a multitude of picnic snacks like deviled eggs, fried chicken and duck, pork and rabbit terrines. On the other hand, you can drink it straight, as an aperitif, just with a handful of nuts or crackers. Winemaker was Mariano Murru. Lots of personality and character for the price. Excellent. About $15, representing Great Value.

Winebow Inc., New York. A sample for review.

vermentino-web
The Olianas Vermentino 2016, Vermentino di Sardegna, is frankly one of the most beautiful wines I have tasted this year. Its making, along biointegrale methods, is meticulous. Twenty percent of the grapes are harvested slightly early and fermented naturally in stainless steel tanks and clay amphora. This portion is then used to produce spontaneous fermentation in the remaining 80 percent of the grapes. The blend ages five or six months in a combination of 70 percent stainless steel and 30 percent tonneaux, usually about 900 liters (237.75 gallons), so little of the wine has actual contact with wood. The result is a vermentino of shimmering purity and intensity that features a very pale straw-gold hue and penetrating aromas of jasmine and honeysuckle, roasted lemon, grapefruit and lemongrass and back-notes of flint and damp limestone. The texture is seductively talc-like in softness yet taut and lean with crystalline acidity and river stone minerality, all wrapped in a bracing sea-salt and grapefruit pith finish of startling acuteness and nervosity. A few moments in the glass bring in hints of quince and ginger and a strain of dried meadow flowers and herbs. 13 percent alcohol. Drink this vermentino, a wine that feels truly alive and vital, through 2018 with grilled fish, seafood risottos, goat and sheep’s-milk cheeses. Excellent. The price for this remarkable performance is a mere $15, representing Terrific Value.

Cline Sisters Imports, Sonoma, Calif. A sample for review.