February 2015 Selection

Sardinia, a wondrous island

February 2015 Selection

Argiolas Perdera 2012 (2 bottles)
Dettori Renosu Rosso (2 bottles)
Santadi Carignano Riserva Rocca Rubia 2012 (2 bottles)

Normal retail price: £64.01
Club Discount Price: £56.12
You save: £7.88 (12.31%)

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About this selection...

We usually think of Sardinia as an idyllic holiday destination: a crystal-clear sea, unspoilt natural scenery, charming customs and culinary delights... To cheer us up over the months still left before summer, how do you fancy a getaway there now? No luggage, just plenty of imagination and a glass (or maybe two) of the fine wine produced by this island.

No tourist resorts, no cruise ships, no luxury boutiques... Before setting off, put any travel brochure pictures firmly out of your mind. Get ready to feel the wind in your hair and to smell in the air the heady scent of wild shrubs and the earthy whiff of iodine. Off with your shoes to nestle your feet into the warmth of the sandy soils. Join us as we get right into the heart of this fascinating island through its wines, so robust, vibrant and brimming with life.

Our selection this month enables you to discover three conspicuous and very representative Sardinian wineries: Argiolas, the island's largest winery and always an obvious choice; Dettori, artisans who are entirely committed to working to the best of their ability; and Santadi, a cooperative which for some years has become one of the most accomplished at interpreting the Sulcis, one of Sardinia's most highly-esteemed regions. All of the wines in this selection are made using indigenous varieties, some better known (the Carignano and Cannonau), others less so (Monica). Get to know each producer's own style through them and be prepared to add three new names to your list of favourite wines.

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Argiolas Perdera 2012 (2 bottles)

Red. Argiolas Monica di Sardegna, Italy Mónica, Carignano, Bovale

Bottle: £7.74 club members / £8.49 non-members


Monica is one of Sardinia's oldest varieties, growing all over but in small quantities. Argiolas, one of the island's largest wineries not only due to its production volume but also because of its consistent quality, is capable of expertly interpreting this great little grape and demonstrates this admirably with its Perdera wine. Made from Monica (90%) with a small addition of Carignano and Bovale Sardo, Perdera is the fruit of a meticulous modern winery, a delightful wine which is also extremely good value. A perfect introduction to this variety, too often forgotten, yet one which undoubtedly enriches Italy's wine-producing heritage.

A ruby-red colour, on the nose it offers an array of aromas, highlighting its sweet notes of ripe fruits, cherries, strawberries and blueberries, apart from its salty whiffs and, more subtly, a black pepper note. It has a fruity flavour, immediate and smooth; it's medium-bodied and pleasantly fresh on the finish. To sum up: a really good wine, versatile in pairings and with an excellent price-quality ratio.

  • Alcohol content: 13,5%
  • Optimum serving temperature: Between 16ºC and 18ºC

Argiolas Perdera 2012
Front and back

Dettori Renosu Rosso (2 bottles)

Red. Dettori Romangia, Italy Cannonau, Mónica, Pascale

Bottle: £8.33 club members / £9.91 non-members


Dettori is one of the most interesting wineries in the whole of Sardinia, well-known for its serious approach and total involvement in every stage of its wine production. From care of the vineyards to bottling, all processes are carried out naturally, with minimum intervention. If you visited the winery, you'd be surprised to find there aren't any barrels there, just concrete tanks in which the wine, without the addition of any sulphur, yeasts or chemicals, continues to evolve until bottling, with no clarification nor filtration. Bear this in mind when you open a bottle of Renosu; it's a totally artisanal and natural wine, and therefore drinking it no sooner than three days after its delivery is recommended and, once uncorked, it's advisable to leave it to breathe and let it continue its evolution in the wine glass.

Renosu is what could be called the winery's entry-level wine, produced using grapes that have not undergone such a rigorous selection as in the case of its more special wines.

Bring the wine glass close to your nose and you'll instantly realise that Renosu has much to offer. An intense perfume, diverse and refined will undoubtedly attract your attention: notes of lavender and Mediterranean copses, red and orange fruits, with smooth tannins and a discreet sugary touch, all balanced however by a lovely freshness and strong minerality. A great wine, full, fleshy, with plenty of body and goodness.

Lamb

  • Alcohol content: 13,0%
  • Optimum serving temperature: Between 16ºC and 18ºC

Dettori Renosu Rosso
Front and back

Santadi Carignano Riserva Rocca Rubia 2012 (2 bottles)

Red. Santadi Carignano del Sulcis, Italy Carignano

Bottle: £11.98 club members / £13.61 non-members


Propagation of the Carignano reflects the close bond which links the wine-producing countries of the Mediterranean basin: we come across it in Spain under the name of Cariñena, Carignan in France, and in Italy it's particularly well-rooted in Sardinia and the Sulcis region. Specifically in the Sulcis, the predominately sandy texture of the soils allowed the vineyards to survive the phylloxera plague; proof of this is that the Santadi cooperative makes its Santadi Carignano del Sulcis Reserva Rocca Rubia entirely from grapes of ungrafted vineyards (grown on their own rootstock).

It's amazing to think that soils as poor as those of the Sulcis can bring to life a wine with such a subtle aroma, so generous and welcoming. Rocca Rubia appears a dense garnet colour and offers on the nose a panoply of fruit fragrances, with slight undertones of spices and fine wood. This subtlety is confirmed on the palate: velvety but with firm tannins, fresh, flavoursome and very pleasant. A wine with plenty of body, which manages to balance out its notable alcohol content most successfully.

  • Alcohol content: 14,0%
  • Optimum serving temperature: Between 16ºC and 18ºC

Santadi Rocca Rubia 2012
Front and back

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