Now here’s a change: I don’t think we have ever taken you to Sardinia before, so grab your toothbrush and off we go! Sardinian wines do have a tendency to be rather dearer than you might expect; we call it Swiss Syndrome - decent enough but £2 per bottle more than it should be. However we have happened across this pair of neat, practical, well made wines at an introductory level, which offer a glimpse of what the island’s producers can achieve. Your red is made from the grape they call Cannonau, though we know it better as Grenache Noir. Castanzu, which sounds like a particularly productive sneeze, is the name of the producers which includes the collaboration of a dynamic company from Piemonte and the UK importer, together with local contract growers. The wine is a neat and tidy middleweight to enjoy with bread and olives, pasta or a plate of salami variants.
The white is made from the Vermentino grape which is also grown here and there in the Languedoc where it may appear under the name of Rolle. It is frequently used as a bulker in a blend but deserves better when grown with more care and attention for, as the vines age and harder pruning reduces crop size, it develops a depth of flavour and individuality that is admirable. This modest example is starting to show early signs of these delicious traits, but this is a young project - these are the first commercial versions - and as other growers join the team and expert supervision starts to count, we can expect better things to come. Drink, inevitably, with sardines, clams with linguine or as a glassful in the sun. If we get any.
RED: 2009 Cannonau di Sardegna, Castanzu
Price per bottle: £6.95 (sealed case price: £6.60) Half price for one sample (club members only) £3.48
There’s a clean fruity nose and cheerful Grenache fruit. It’s not a massive red, which Grenache can be, but has plenty of fresh, red fruit flavours.
WHITE: 2010 Vermentino di Sardegna, Castanzu
Price per bottle: £6.95 (sealed case price: £6.60) Half price for one sample (club members only)£3.47
Dry and crisp with a note of light spice and a touch of something herby, maybe a distant hint of tarragon, with plenty of zip and racy freshness.
APRIL OFFERS – A CHARITY CASE
For the last few years we have put out a selection of wines which, with a little help from a supplier and by reducing our margin, allows us to make a donation of £5 per every 6-pack purchased to charity. Our chosen charity remains the Cancer Campaign in Suffolk which provides support to cancer patients and their families. What they raise in Suffolk stays in Suffolk - it is a truly local charity dealing with a disease that, sadly, touches most of us in one way or another. When you need a few bottles - and you might with Easter and the various bank holidays coming up - please consider this half-case. Just by steering your purchase in this direction you can do a tremendous amount of good.
The 6-pack comprises the above two wines and two other pairs:
2010 Percheron Chenin/Viognier and 2011 Percheron Shiraz/Mourvèdre from South Africa
2010 Montevista Viognier Reserve and 2010 Montevista Carmenère Reserve from Chile.
As ever these can be taken as mixed, all red or all white variations with no change in price.
The price is £39.95 which shows a discount to you of just under 7.5% off listed rates.
This offer will run, subject to stock remaining unsold, until 31st May 2012
(which is actually the date of our summer tasting).