2016 Azienda Vinicola Cherchi Isola dei Nuraghi Cagnulari
Region: Isola dei Nuraghi < Sardegna < Italy
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Organic farming, clay soils on a hilly vineyard site located at about 200 meters above sea-level. Hand harvested, de-stemmed, gently crushed and soft-pressed, 8-10 days of skin contact, aging in mostly steel tanks, some in half-new oak barriques for 6 months; 13.5% ABV
Winemaker: Giovanni Cherchi
We’ve always been a champion of rare, indigenous Italian grape varieties, so we’re happy to bring you our first Cagnulari. Unique to Sardegna, it is only cultivated in the far northwest corner of the island. Giovanni Cherchi, the Godfather of Cagnulari, helped revive the varietal on his family’s estate starting in the 1970s when it was nearly extinct. He believed in its potential and even bottled the first examples to be exported off the island. Not surprisingly he did this working naturally, letting the uniqueness of Cagnulari speak for itself. The surprisingly deeply colored (purpleish ruby) for a light coastal red, but the sea breeze seems to be exactly what this wine needs to retain freshness. Dusty, garrigue-y and dark fruited, it takes us to the Sardegnian coast for a split second – blue sky, scrubby sage brush and sandy soils – we get all of that in the glass. Plus spicy plum, red cherry and blueberry and minerals. Would be so good with a roasted whole fish with black olives and tomatoes or Sardegnian Pecorino!