Posts Tagged ‘Cannonau di Sardegna’

A Slew of Italian Wines


Apparently we tasted a lot of Italian wines lately.  Priced between $9 and $19 there is something here for everyone.  My favorite of the lot are the 2009 Piaggia di Silvia Bannucci, Pietranera and the 2006 Poedere il Palazzino, Argenina.  Quite frankly I like most of the Piaggia wines I have tasted and this entry-level wine is no exception.  The Palazzino is quite nice too, in speaking with Tim, he prefers this 2006 vintage over the 2007.  The 2007 Tenuta Cocevola, Rosso Cocevola will alter your normal drinking habits because it is pure Nero di Troia.  It is worth a try but best to cellar for a year or so.  The 2010 Brigaldara, Valpolicella offers good pleasure for a low price along with the more expensive 2008 Fuedi di San Gregorio, Ognissole and the 2010 Argiolas, Costera.  Amazingly the least expensive wine, the  2011 Giribaldi, Winemaker’s Selection Red Blend at $9 per bottle, had my favorite nose.  My glass provided continuous aromas of floral perfume and fresh berries.  The flavors in the mouth did not live up to the nose but it is still worth the price to simply smell.  Please find my tasting notes in general order of preference.  These wines were purchased at MacArthur Beverages.


2009 Piaggia di Silvia Bannucci, Pietranera- Tuscany – $19
Imported by Bacchus Importers. This wine is mostly Sangiovese with a little Canaiolo which was fermented with indigenous yeast then aged for 10 months in French oak.  Alcohol 13.5%.  The light nose was slightly pungent with red and black fruit.  In the mouth there was lovely fruit, red, black, and cherry which had depth.  There was a good vein of fruit caressed by a wood box note.  The acidity is supportive as focused, cool flavors of blue and black fruit come out in the finish.  Tasty.  *** Now – 2020.


2006 Poedere il Palazzino, Argenina, Chianti Classico – $17
Imported by De Grazia Imports. This wine is mostly Sangiovese sourced from the Argenina Vineyard which was aged in small oak casks.  Alcohol 14%.  The color is a light to medium garnet.  The light nose is tight but some cherry aromas escape.  There is richer fruit in the mouth with powdery blue flavors then focused blue and black fruit which is drier.  There are also drying tannins and minerals.  With air there is a controlled, mouthfilling nature but it is not expansive.  There are smooth tannins, seemingly redder fruit in the finish, and a minerally aftertaste.  Tasty.  *** Now – 2018.


2007 Tenuta Cocevola, Rosso Cocevola, Castel del Monte – $17
Imported byIl Pioppo.  This wine is 100% Nero di Troia which was aged 6-9 months in French oak barriques.  Alcohol 13.5%.  The color is a medium garnet with a cherry core.  the light nose is of low-lying darker, red fruit.  The dark red and blue flavors have some compactness before black minerals mix with nice fruit.  The acidiyt is on the front of the tongue. Fine, strong tannins build from the beginning resulting in a firm finish but salivating aftertaste from the acidity.   I could use several months in the cellar. **(*) 2014-2018.


2010 Brigaldara, Valpolicella – $12
Imported by Vinifera Imports.  Alcohol 13.5%.  The color is a light ruby with a touch of garnet at the edge.  The light nose is raspberry candy.  In the mouth there is pretty, little black and red fruit along with some dried herbs and acidity.  It has some weight and a little ripeness in the finish.  Flavors of cranberry mixes with acidity that hits the back of the throat.  The finish has a dark hint, some structure, and a  hint of grapefruit.  ** Now.


2008 Fuedi di San Gregorio, Ognissole, Primitivo di Manduria – $16
Imported by Palm Bay Imports.  This wine is 100% Primitivo sourced from 25-year-old vines which were destemmed and aged for 14 months in new French oak.  Alcohol 14.5%. The nose was light with lots of mixed berries.  The mouth brought blackberry and blueberry fruit which became a little round and ripe in the middle.  There was acidity before the very fine tannins lurked in the aftertaste.  With air the flavors turned towards macerated red berries up front and blacker fruit in the finish.  Well done.  ** Now-2018.


2010 Argiolas, Costera, Cannonau di Sardegna – $14
Imported by Winebow.  This wine is a blend of 90% Cannonau, 5% Carignano, and 5% Bovale Sardo which was aged for six to eight months in used barriques.  Alcohol 14%.  The nose was light with strawberries and cherry.  The cherry and strawberry flavors continue in the mouth with juicy acidity and even more strawberry fruit.  The acidity is balanced by ripe texture, some weight, and a hint of minerals.  This youthful, grapey wine becomes athletic in the end.  It maintains good flavor but not great depth.  ** Now-2018.


2012 Giribaldi, Winemaker’s Selection Red Blend, – $9
Imported by William-Harrison.  This wine is a blend of 70% Dolcetto, 25% Barbera, and 5% Nebbiolo.  Alcohol 12%.  The color is a light to medium grapey ruby.  The medium strength nose is attractive with floral perfume and fresh berries.  It is a beautiful nose that takes on spices.  In the mouth there is tart red and black fruit with an initial hint of salt before black minerals come out.  The wine is tart on the sides of the tongue with citric tannins on the lips.  The flavors do fade by the finish.  It is a more forward wine that takes on a wee bit of weight.  ** Now-2014.


2009 Villa Santera, Leon de Castris, Primitivo di Manduria – $15
Imported by Winebow.  This wine is 100% Primitivo sourced from 40-year-old vines.  It was fermented in stainless steel tanks then aged six months in used French oak barrels.Alcohol 15%. The light nose was ripe, pungent, and plummy.  There were fresh, almost eucalyptus, flavors in the mouth, spiced herbs, and ripe red fruit.  This was a supple wine with integrated acidity but it was a little too sweet for me.  There were grainy, ripe tannins.  ** Now-2016.


2006 Tenute Soletta, Corona Majore, Cannonau di Sardegna

April 25, 2011 2 comments

Sardinia has historically been different from the rest of Italy.  It has been governed by Carthage, Rome, Byzantines, Arabs, and Catalans.  In 1479 Ferdinan II of Aragon married Isabel of Castile and the Kingdom of Sardinia became Spanish.  The 250 years of Spanish rule left a legacy of using Spanish grapes.  Grenache was brought to Sardinia and is known as Cannonau in Italian.

Sardegna, Giovani Cassini, Rome 1792

Tenute Soletta is a wine cooperative founded by Umberto Soletta in 1996.  He has meticulously reclaimed land for the vineyards and established a clean, modern winery full of stainless steel and French oak.  Corona Major is named after the region in the northern tip of the Sassari province.  Sassari may be found in the upper, left-hand corner of the map.  The Cannonau vineyards are grown at an altitude of 400 meters on sandy, chalky soil.  The vines are harvested in October and the wine is aged for 18 months.  It is 13.5% alcohol and is available for $26 at MacArthur’s.

2006 Tenute Soletta, Corona Majore, Cannonau di Sardegna
This wine is a bright, vibrant ruby color.  The light nose has ripe, sweet red fruit and sweet spices.  With air lifted, gritty blue fruit aromas develop.  There are waves of tart red fruit in this medium bodied wine.  The sweet spices lift up and out of the mouth.  It is a modern style of wine with lots of ripe, red, herbed fruit, good aromas, and an almost spicy character.  *** Now-2017.