2020 Cardedu 'Caladu' Cannanou
Region: Sardegna < Italy
Grape: Vermentino, Cannonau, Nasco
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Organic farming; soils of crumbling granite and red-tinted quartz; fermentation in 1950s cement tanks, then aged in stainless steel and large, used botti for 18 months before being bottled unfined and unfiltered with minimal So2; 14% ABV; 500 cases
Sergio Loi is a 4th generation traditional Sardinian producer, whose family winery from the early 900s has always practiced no chemical farming and minimum intervention in the cellar. The Cardedu [car-DAY-do] vineyards are located on the island’s Southeast, where soils are crumbling granite near the coast, a sparsely-populated area that feels lost in time. Cardedu balances on that edge of being told-school but also thoughtful, especially considering today’s warmer climate. In the last few vintages – extremely hot and dry – Cardedu has made lower alcohol wines by picking earlier and careful vineyard management. The result, thankfully, isn’t hipster juice without terroir. Sergio says, it’s just wine that tastes more like the cool vintages he enjoyed in the ’70’s. We love this.
And we LOVE his wines, which are restrained and refreshing compared to the typical fruit bombs from the island. Take this Cannonau, the Sardinian cousin of Grenache, that is very different from the often big, hot wines of the Southern Rhone or Spain - more structure, and less fruit. Yes, it is a full-bodied, somewhat meaty wine, with generous plum and black fruit, tobacco, smoke, and black tea, but it leans savory and herbal rather than sweet/fruity, and the alcohol is well integrated. An excellent wine for all things grilled, but could also take a chill and pairing with lighter fare.