SARDINIA, the Mediterranean’s second-largest island, grows a pan-European mix of grapes that doesn’t bear much resemblance to what is cultivated on mainland Italy. Grenache (called Cannonau here) and Vermentino are important. And Carignan, Cabernet, Bobal, Malvasia and Moscato are grown too, as well as a handful of local oddities. Only a small proportion of the island’s terrain is devoted to the vine and, arguably, wine culture is not as ingrained here as elsewhere in Italy. What wines are produced tend to be characterful, spicy and good quality.
Castanzu Vermentino di Sardegna 2012 €12.99
This classic Mediterranean white has a rich and exotic nose with oodles of citrus and tropical fruit, as well as hints of apple sherbet. Lovely palate weight, with lush fruit and lemon marmalade flavours balanced by tingly minerality and fine acidity.
Castanzu Cannonau di Sardegna 2009 €12.99
This distinctive red is vividly expressive, with vibrant spiced red fruits on the nose and a mercurial wash of raspberry, black cherry, blackcurrant leaf and eucalyptus.Try with steak and kidney pie. Cannonau is the Sardinian name for Grenache!
Statua Pinot Grigio 2012 Sicily €11.99
Floral and fruity white from hillside vineyards on the volcanic island of Sicily. Playful, open and soft – easy drinking bliss!
Statua Negroamaro Puglia €11.99
Negroamaro means ‘black bitter’ but you’d never think it to taste this joyous, satiny offering from Italy’s heel. Notes of cherry cola and cinnamon.