From: Sardegna, Italy
Varietal: Cannonau di Sardegna
Taste: Cannonau is a late-ripening grape variety best suited to hot and dry conditions. Intense aromas include lush red fruits like bing cherry and ripe raspberry and subtle floral and white pepper spice notes. Full, warm, velvety, and harmonious with a characteristic finish with balanced tannins. The mouthfeel is fresh, has a good structure and dense, well-integrated tannin texture, and finishes with distinctive hints of wild berries and dark chocolate, tobacco, and Myrrh notes.
Pairing: Cannonau has mild acidity and deep color. It will pair well with lamb's pastoral and grassy flavor. A lamb ragù would work particularly well with Cannonau. Additionally, as lamb dishes are very common in Sardinia, this is a natural pairing where the local wine complements the local food. Other pairings include lamb tagine (we’re sharing a Tagine-Syle Lamb Stew alternative below), feijoada, wild boar stew, roasted lamb or braised meats, eggplant-based dishes with a Mediterranean flare, tomato-based pasta, ravioli, and rice dishes with Asian five-spice or Mediterranean herbs.
Tagine-Style Lamb Stew
By John Willoughby
This wine. Le Bombarde wine takes its name from the beach of the same name, where the vineyards of the red grapes Cannonau di Sardegna and Monica di Sardegna are still located. The cannons on the label symbolize the defense and pride of Sardinia’s coastal territory, which suffered invasions from various peoples, including the Aragonese and Spanish, over the centuries. They are emblematic of the strong and decisive character of these vines.
Grapes: Cannonau di Sardegna DOC Vineyard location: Santa Maria La Palma production area (Alghero, Nurra, Coros) Soil type: clayey alluvial Harvest: last of September / first of October Climate: dry heat Training systems: Spurred cordon and guyot Plant density: 4000 plants / hectare Yield: 80 quintals / hectare Average age of vines: between 3 and 10 years Vinification and aging: pressing followed by a week of fermentation characterized by 4 pumping over a day of a quarter of an hour. The refinement that follows will be carried out in the cement vats, until April 1st of the year following that of the harvest. Color: Intense ruby red. Bouquet: Intense with hints of cherry and raspberry. Taste: Full and warm, velvety, very harmonious with a characteristic finish with balanced tannins. Pairings: It goes well with red meat dishes, game and aged cheeses. Serving temperature: 18 ° C – 20 ° C Alcohol: 13% –14% vol. Residual sugars: 0 Total acidity: 4.6 Number of Bottles: 300,000
About the winery. Founded in the lush countryside of Alghero, the Cantina Santa Maria la Palma co-op embodies a rich history of agricultural mastery and communal trust. Established in 1959 by a hundred visionary farmworkers, this winery took root in the Nurra area, a region ideal for viticulture, following the transformative Agrarian Reform in post-war Sardinia.
Armed with skill and courage, these pioneers sought to harness the essence of a land sculpted for wine production.
The winery's journey began amid the serene plains overlooking the sea, nestled between the Gulf of Alghero and the Bay of Porto Conte. Here, the soil, caressed by wind and sun, has always been a trusted ally to the local farmers. Their story is one of hard-earned wisdom, a testament to the value hidden in their surroundings.
Today, Cantina Santa Maria la Palma is a beacon of innovation intertwined with tradition. Spanning 700 hectares, the estate is a cradle for a diverse range of nuanced Sardinian wines. These wines are a product of unwavering passion and modern technology, symbolizing the winery's dedication to excellence.
Their approach is a commitment to quality, from meticulous grape selection to sustainable soil management. This dedication not only meets but exceeds consumer expectations, ensuring the legacy of this noble tradition continues to flourish. Cantina Santa Maria la Palma captures the spirit of its land and its people in every bottle, bridging their storied past with a dynamic future.
The land. Sardinia, a Mediterranean viticultural gem, boasts a rich tapestry of cultures that have shaped its winemaking legacy. This large island, set in the heart of the Tyrrhenian Sea, has witnessed the rule of the Phoenicians, Ancient Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, and Catalans. Each of these civilizations left an indelible mark on Sardinia's viticulture, introducing prized vines from their homelands. Today, the island's indigenous grape varieties, such as Cannonau (Grenache) and Carignan, trace their roots to multiple origins, with a significant influence from Spain.
The star of Sardinia's white wines is Vermentino, which thrives across the Mediterranean. In regions like Languedoc in France, Liguria (Pigato), Piedmont (Favorita), and Tuscany (Vermentino), this grape has made a name for itself. However, with its north-facing slopes and granitic soils, Sardinia's northeastern Gallura region produces what many consider the best Vermentino in the Mediterranean. These conditions yield Vermentino wines that are highly aromatic, full-bodied, and exquisitely balanced.
Sardinia's commitment to viticulture coexists with its dedication to preserving natural farmlands, bucolic sheep-grazing plains, and iconic Mediterranean beaches. The island's geological history is fascinating, having separated from what is now mainland Europe around 21 million years ago. Agronomists often highlight that Sardinia broke away from the region of Provence, not Tuscany, thus influencing its soil composition and, consequently, its wines.
This geological heritage may explain the prevalence of Cannonau (Grenache) grapes on the island. Cannonau in Sardinia has evolved into a uniquely elegant wine characterized by smooth tannins and a versatility shaped by the salty sea breezes. These breezes keep the vines dry and healthy, contributing to a wine that is both fruity and subtly spiced. Easy to enjoy, Cannonau from Sardinia is far from simplistic, offering a refined complexity that reflects the island's diverse and storied winemaking history.
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