2016 Quartomoro Cannonau Di Sardegna Orriu

SKU #1333301

Cannonau is the Sardinian name for Grenache. As a wine-producing region, Sardinia lingered for years in anonymity, but it’s had a renaissance in quality starting with just a few wineries, and it’s growing. Piero Cella, who started his tiny Quartomoro label as a side job, is part of that renaissance. An enologist, he has worked all over Sardinia, in almost every region, spending years documenting soil types and grape varieties. While he reeks of the scientific method he has much more of an emotional bond with the people he works with. He buys grapes from different growers and they work together on how to grow, all organically, and he also listens to their visions for their grapes. He has an interesting expression—he wants to mix Sardinia-ness with Continent-ality. You won’t find those words in the dictionary but basically he is trying to use the classic continental methods without losing local origins. The Quartomoro Di Sardegna “Orriu” is an example of Piero’s dream. The wine is classically Sardinian, without the over-ripe flavors one can find in Cannoanu. It’s produced from a vineyard in granitic/sandy soil at about 2.3 tons per acre. The wine is super clean, full of fruit and with layers of complexity that add spice and earth. Every time I think of Sardinian food the name Bottarga comes into my head, but for this wine I’m thinking grilled leg of lamb! (Greg St. Clair, K&L Italian wine buyer)

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Price: $21.99
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- Fat, ripe and rich with ample fruit and vibrant acidity, wines made from Grenache are easy to love. While its origins are still under dispute - some suggest Spain, where it is called Garnacha, while others say it came first from Sardinia, where it is called Cannonau - it is inarguably one of the most planted varietals in the world. A hearty grape, Grenache does well in hot, dry regions and its sturdy stalk also makes it well-suited to withstand blustery conditions like the Provençal Mistral. It ripens at relatively high sugar levels, which translates to higher potential alcohol in the wines it produces. Grenache may be most famous in the Southern Rhône areas such as Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Gigondas where it has long been an important component of delicious blends. But it's also the source of the crisp rosés from Tavel, Lirac and Provence, and age-worthy vins doux naturels like Rivsaltes and Banyuls. Grenache is also found in large swaths of northeastern Spain, in Navarre, in Rioja, where it plays a supporting role in blends with Tempranillo, and in the distinctive wines of Priorat. The grape was once the most widely planted varietal in Australia, though Shiraz and Cabernet have overtaken it. In California, Grenache plantings have dwindled from their heyday in the San Joaquin Valley, but it is starting to see a resurgence, albeit in smaller plantings, where other Rhône varietals thrive.


- Once named Enotria for its abundant vineyards, Italy (thanks to the ancient Greeks and Romans) has had an enormous impact on the wine world. From the shores of Italy, the Romans brought grapes and their winemaking techniques to North Africa, Spain and Portugal, Germany, France, the Danube Valley, the Middle East and even England. Modern Italy, which didn't actually exist as a country until the 1870s, once produced mainly simple, everyday wine. It wasn't until the 1970s that Italy began the change toward quality. The 1980s showed incredible efforts and a lot of experimentation. The 1990s marked the real jump in consistent quality, including excellence in many Region that had been indistinct for ages. The entire Italian peninsula is seeing a winemaking revolution and is now one of the most exciting wine Region in the world.