Wine Culture and Information - Volume 13
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  Wine Producers Issue 7, April 2003   
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Argiolas

In Sardinia, enchanting island of the Tyrrhenian Sea, in a land rich in history, art and traditions, are being produced great wines, fruit of the land and expression of the territory

 Leaving Cagliari, going to the tranquil Mediterranean inland and after about twenty kilometers, there is the territory of Serdiana, whose ancient name seems to be Xerdiani, a place rich of cedars, whose essence perfumed religious ceremonies of Greek monks. The favorable climate conditions, fertility of land and the abundance of water made this place very favorable to the settling of humans since prehistorical times. Three kilometers from the center of this town, encircled by vineyards and secular olive trees, there is the ancient church of Santa Maria of Sibiola, built in the first half of the twelfth century by Vittorini of Marseille, where a flourishing agricultural center was run by the active presence of Benedictine Monks and still nowadays, the 8th of September of every year, people gathers together and celebrate a picturesque rural festival. In this place, in Serdiana, sixty years ago Antonio Agriolas started his company and now his sons Franco and Giuseppe run it with the very same fatherly passion and with a modern vision about viticulture and enology. Antonio Argiolas turned his passion into reality by following, both in the cultivation of vine and of olive trees, the ancient traditions of the Mediterranean civilizations, narrated by Pliny the Elder, Columella and Horace.


Franco Argiolas
Franco Argiolas

 Today Argiolas winery, run and managed with extreme professionalism, is aiming to quality as its main goal. In the winery of Serdiana, provided of the most modern machineries for wine making, keeping and aging in barrique for its most refined red wines, are sent grapes harvested in the vineyards located in the vicinity and in the lands of Selegas, Siurgus Donigala and Guamaggiore. From Sernobì, center of Trexenta, a very ancient region lived by many people which was characterized by three hundreds villages, can be reached the Is Arais estate, in the territory of Siurgus. In the southern area of this region are located Turriga, Is Argiolas and Unghera estates.

 It was in these lands that more than sixty years ago, Antonio Argiolas, today 96, began his adventure in the wine production, continued now by his sons Franco and Giuseppe, and that will conduct his winery to be now the second most important winery of the viticultural and wine business of Sardinia. The real impulse for the winery started in the beginning of the eighties of the last century, in a period when European Community was encouraging the uprooting and conversion of vineyards, Antonio Argiolas involved his sons in his winery and, whereas other wine farms were dedicating to other type of cultures, the Argiolas, with strong determination, decided to continue the work of their father and to strongly aim towards quality. An effort that now completely satisfies them and their wines are the clear and indisputable sign that they were right. They then decided to invest lots of money and focusing of the winery's reorganization, by adopting new production processes, restoring the winery, they adopted the most modern wine technologies and called one of the most influential, great and talented wine maker of Italy, and certainly of the world, to help them: Giacomo Tachis. The way was set and there were all the necessary premises for a real quality production.

 In those years the Argiolas also invested on experimental cultivation of international and local grapes, and sooner after, they decided to exclusively dedicate the production on local grapes varieties of Sardinia in order to properly and fully value their excellent quality. They were also successful in recovering Bovale Sardo grape, or Bovaleddu, an ancient red berried grape which was probably destined to disappear forever and that today it is successfully used for the production of the best red wines of the winery: Turriga and Korem. Today the winery is focusing its attention again on another local grape which already proved to have good quality and to excellently express itself in this territory: Carignano, a red berried grape which continues the winery's philosophy in the revaluation of local grapes.


 

 Quality production in Argiolas starts in the vineyard and, subsequently, with harvesting, done with the most scrupulous attentions, grapes are being harvested and promptly sent to the winery, provided with the most modern wine making technologies. Here, thanks to the work of wine maker Mariano Murru and the help of Giacomo Tachis, the great wines of Argiolas are created. The rich Sardinian tradition is fully found in the names chosen by the Argiolas for their wines: Turriga, Korem, Cerdeña, Angialis, S'elegas, are just few examples of names that identify some production areas, or are however connected to certain traditional, cultural and historical aspects of the region.

 Talking about Argiolas also means talking, above all, about their most famed wine: Turriga, certainly not the only great wine produced by the winery, which worthy represents the winery. This wine is produced with grapes harvested in the Turriga vineyard, that's the reason for its name, in the Selgias area. In this wine can be found the real essence of Sardinian grapes as no international grapes are used for its production, a clear sign that local grapes too, genuine and real richness of every land, are capable of creating exceptional wines of great and indisputable class. Cannonau, Carignano, Bovale Sardo and Malvasia Nera, with a production of about 1 Kg per vine, (about 2.2 lbs.) allow the creation of this important and very interesting red wine. Must is macerated in skins for about 16-18 days and the aging is done in new French barriques (Tronçais and Allier) for about 18 months.

 Another wine produced by Argiolas, of sure interest and great personality, is the last wine created by the winery, Cerdeña, a white produced with Vermentino grape to which are added small quantities of other local grapes. The wine, which has the name of the island in the Catalan language, is obtained by a soft pressing of grapes and both alcoholic and malolactic fermentation of the wine are done in barriques, then follows an aging, still in barriques, for 6-8 months as well as an aging in bottle for 6-8 months.


Giuseppe Argiolas
Giuseppe Argiolas

 Turriga and Cerdeña are not the only prestigious wines produced by Argiolas. Another great red is Korem, a wine which is getting more and more successful and it was also served last summer during a toast in occasion of the fortieth of Emerald Coast. Korem is mainly produced with Bovale Sardo and Carignano grapes and a small quantity of Cannonau. Must is macerated in skins for about 10-12 days and it is fermented in concrete containers followed by 10-12 months of aging in barrique. The aging is completed in bottle for about 6 months and then the wine is ready to be released on the market. Another wine that exalts the quality of the local grape Nasco is Angialis. This is an excellent late harvest wine produced with Nasco, a white berried grape, and small quantity of Malvasia of Cagliari, both harvested when are overripe. Fermentation of this wine, because of the high density of must, is slow and difficult. The wine is subsequently decanted and aged in barrique for some months.

 The production of Argiolas winery is completed, as for white wines, with S'elegas, produced with Nuragus grape, Costamolino produced with Vermentino, Argiolas Bianco produced with Vermentino and small quantities of white berried local grapes, whereas as for red wines, there is Costera produced with Cannonau and Perdera produced with Monica grape. Rose wines, produced by Argiolas as well, are represented by SerraLori produced with Cannonau, Monica, Carignano and Bovale Sardo grapes. Lastly, with Turriga's pomace is produced a grappa having the same name.

 Argiolas wines are now renowned in every country of the world and are present in every continent. Europe was the first foreign market, particularly Switzerland, and today Argiolas wines can also be found in Germany, Netherlands, Russia and Norway, in America are present in Canada, in the United States of America and Brazil, in Asia are found in Israel, Japan, China and Thailand, in Oceania are found in Australia and New Zealand. About 40% of total production is however destined to the Italian market.

 




Score legend

Fair    Pretty Good    Good
Very Good    Excellent
Wine that excels in its category Wine that excels in its category
Prices are to be considered as indicative. Prices may vary according to the country
or the shop where wines are bought




Cerde\~na 2001, Argiolas (Italy)
Cerdeña 2001
Argiolas (Italy)
Grapes: Vermentino (95%), Nasco (5%)
Price: € 25,20 Score: Wine that excels in its category
The wine shows a soft golden yellow color and nuances of straw yellow, very transparent. The nose reveals personality with clean and elegant aromas. There can be perceived good and intense aromas of acacia, pineapple, banana, hawthorn, broom, kiwi, litchi, apple, hazelnut, toasted bread and vanilla as well as good aromas of toasted wood. In the mouth denotes a round character however balanced, and good correspondence to the nose, intense flavors and body as well as a pleasing elegance. The finish is persistent with pleasing and intense flavors of hazelnut, kiwi, banana and vanilla. A well made wine. Cerdeña is fermented in cask and is aged in barrique for 6-8 months followed by 6-8 months in bottle.
Food Match: Sauteed meat, Soft cheese, Stuffed pasta, Roasted fish



Angialis 1999, Argiolas (Italy)
Angialis 1999
Argiolas (Italy)
Grapes: Nasco (95%), Malvasia di Cagliari (5%)
Price: € 18,50 (500ml - 16.9fl.oz.)Hard and piquant cheese, confectionery, jam tarts Score:
The wine shows a beautiful and brilliant amber yellow color and nuances of golden yellow, very transparent. The nose denotes great personality with clean, elegant, intense and refined aromas of dried apricot, candies, caramel, peach jam, dried fig, litchi, honey, citrus fruit skin and vanilla. In the mouth reveals an excellent correspondence to the nose, a very balanced sweetness and intense flavors. The finish is very persistent with long and pleasing flavors of honey, dried apricot, litchi and peach jam. A great wine. Angialis is aged in barrique for some months.
Food Match: Hard and piquant cheese, confectionery, jam tarts



Korem 2000, Argiolas (Italy)
Korem 2000
Argiolas (Italy)
Grapes: Bovale (55%), Carignano (35%), Cannonau (10%)
Price: € 16,00 Score:
This wine shows an intense ruby red color and nuances of garnet red, moderate transparency. The nose reveals great personality with very elegant, clean, intense and persistent aromas. There can be perceived aromas of black cherry, cocoa, cherry macerated in alcohol, black cherry jam, blackberry jam, raspberry, licorice, blueberry, plum, black currant, vanilla and violet. The mouth denotes an excellent correspondence to the nose and an excellent balance. A full bodied wine with intense flavors. The finish is very persistent and long with pleasing and clean flavors of black cherry, blackberry, plum and black currant. A great wine. Korem is aged in barrique for 10-12 months followed by 6 months more in bottle.
Food Match: Roasted meat, Game, Hard cheese, Braised meat, Stewed meat



Turriga 1998, Argiolas (Italy)
Turriga 1998
Argiolas (Italy)
Grapes: Cannonau (80%), Carignano (10%), Bovale Sardo, Malvasia Nera (10%)
Price: € 28,85 Score:
The wine shows a beautiful and intense ruby red color and nuances of garnet red, moderate transparency. The nose reveals great personality with clean and elegant aromas. There can be perceived intense and good aromas of black cherry, chocolate, blueberry jam, blackberry jam, plum jam, licorice, vanilla, dried violet and a pleasing hint of black pepper. The mouth denotes an excellent correspondence to the nose and an impeccable balance, full body and intense flavors. The finish is very persistent and long with pleasing flavors of blackberry, black cherry and plum. A great wine. Turriga is aged in barrique for 18 months.
Food Match: Roasted meat, Game, Hard cheese, Braised meat, Stewed meat



Argiolas - Via Roma, 56/58 - 09040 Serdiana, Cagliari (Italy) Tel. ++39 070 740606 Fax ++39 070 743264 - Winemaker: Mariano Murru with the consultancy of Giacomo Tachis - Established: 1937 - Production: 2.400.000 bottles - E-Mail: argiolaspa@tin.it - WEB: www.cantine-argiolas.com


 Wine Tasting  Share this article   Share on Google+   Summary of Wine Producers column Events 
  Wine Producers Issue 7, April 2003   
ArgiolasArgiolas Cellar JournalCellar Journal  Contents 
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Cellar Journal


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