Argiolas is the foremost wine estate on the island of Sardinia producing archetypal wines from native varietals. The winery was founded in 1938 by Antonio Argiolas and was the first on the island to pursue quality over quantity. Today, the Argiolas family is recognized as Sardinia’s leading producer of wine.
Sardinia is the second-largest island in the Mediterranean and lies roughly 190 miles west of Italy’s mainland. The vineyards of Argiolas are located in Serdiana in the Trexenta hills just north of the capital of Cagliari. Argiolas farms 600 acres of native Sardinian grapes including Nuragus, Monica, and Cannonau.
Costera, a name referring to hills, is made from Cannonau (Garnacha or Grenache). It is the workhorse red grape of Sardinia where it is likely to have arrived centuries ago from Spain, although an alternative theory suggests that Cannonau originated in Sardinia. In either case, Cannonau is well-adapted to the warm Sardinian climate and gives a deeply-colored, full-bodied red wine.
Costera shows the typicity of the Cannonau grape with flavors of very ripe strawberries, black cherries, herbs, and spices. The warmth and intense sunlight of southern Sardinia can be seen and felt in the wine with unexpectedly deep color and fullness on the palate. French oak barriques provide rounded tannins and flavors of vanilla.
Meat cooked over an open flame is an artform in Sardinia and specialties such as spit-roasted suckling pig or lamb seem perfect for the rich and complex flavors of Cannonau. The cooking fire is often imbued with local herbs and myrtle, flavors that are perfectly mirrored in a glass of Cannonau.
Topper’s Notes: I tasted this red with my favorite meat loaf that my lovely wife prepares, its a virtual flavor smorgasbord. The wine melded perfectly without over-powering the food, which is what a Grenache should do. the nose has appealing aroma of black cherry, slate, plum and spice, which are found in the flavor profile of the body balanced by light to medium tannin for structure. The finish is smooth with gentle flavors that display a long smooth texture.