Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Review: 2005 Sella y Mosca Cannonau di Sardegna Riserva

Barbaresco May Cross Your Mind, But Not For the Price Tag 

Rating:  A find worth jumping on.  A total score.  Lively, layered, and lovely. $15-ish



The rest of the story:  (Big thanks to Philip at Spagio Cellars for unearthing this unusual prize.)  Sardinia is a beautiful place; sun-bleached beaches, cerulean waters, bronzed bodies, and seafood so perfect it makes you weepy.  But wine in Sardinia?  Sure, maybe for local consumption...fruity Vermentino in fish-shaped bottles... 

Apparently not.  This is a head-turning wine, especially after it has a chance to breathe a little.  Wow.  Wow.

Cannonau, a grape indigenous to Sardinia, has apparently be outed.  Turns out it's the same animal as Grenache.  But there's little resemblance between this and the jammy stuff coming out of central Spain.  This is light, sprightly, and...strangely, really freaking good.

But the surprises keep coming.  Sella y Mosca, owned by the Campari group, is apparently one of Italy's juggernaut wineries...

And the I Piano estate - with 1200 acres planted to vine, where this wine is grown, is the second largest contiguous vineyard in Italy.  Well, sonofabitch.  Who woulda thunk it?

But to the wine...This thing is fun out of the gate, but delivers surprisingly serious complexity after an hour or so open.  Very light in the glass, it could easily be mistaken for a watered-down Chianti.  The nose on it wakes you up with a one-two punch of acid and fruit. 

And the action keeps coming.  The flavor has got it goin' on.  Bright red fruit and not quite puckering acids, it could go with a hearty fish stew, buttered pasta with game, or small talk with a date at sunset.  (Okay, that's cheezy.)

Like so many wines, great Italian wines especially, given some time this baby starts evolving in dimension.  Layers of flavor start coming at you like waves of silk, or fireflies on a warm summer evening - wearing silk pajamas.  Or...you get the idea.  Barbaresco may cross your mind drinking this, but not for the price tag.

So much going on in this wine - and for such a reasonable price.  Yeah!  We paid $16.99 - and gladly will again.  But the astute shopper will find it nearby - or online - for less.  Possibly way less.  Stock it up.

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