2020 Cardedu 'Praja' Monica
Region: Sardegna < Italy
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Organic farming; soils of crumbling granite and red-tinted quartz; fermentation in 1950s cement tanks, then aged in the same tanks for 5 months before being bottled unfined and unfiltered with minimal So2; 12.5% 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.
This pretty baby here is Sergio's Monica -- named not after a daughter but a grape indigenous to Sardinia, from vineyards in the most mountainous and least populated part of the island. Here the vineyards are planted near cliffs that go straight down to the Mediterranean and capture the salty sea breeze. Dry and earthy, with dusty red fruit, figs and a touch of mint and sage, the 'Praja' takes well to slight chill, but is far from glou glou. Chewy tannins add rusticity, charm and a seductively bitter element, and mellow tannins/acid make it a very versatile crowd-pleaser.
SERVE SLIGHTLY CHILLED