2021 Cantina Argiolas, Nasco di Cagliari IGT White, Iselis, Sardinia, Italy.
This beautifully aromatic, pale straw colored and crisply dry all stainless steel raised Iselis white is made from 100% Nasco di Nuraghi, a rare local grape that has no known relative and found only here near the Sardinian capital Cagliari, on the Marneo-calcareous soils and with hillside vines. There is a deep floral, white flower nose, mineral intensity and a bright citrus led lighter framed palate with peachy elements and subtle tropical notes here on the 2021 Nasco di Nuraghi, which has an almost Riesling like impact and vitality. To capture this grape in its purist sense and terroir nuance, Argiolas went all stainless and cold fermentation in tank with just 60 days on the lees to promote freshness and tight detailing, all of which make it a sublime choice with seafood, especially shellfish and white fish dishes. A huge thank you to my friend and Sardinian native Giuseppi Cossu for bringing this wine back from a recent visit to his homeland!
Most all of the vineyards that Argiolas owns or usess are located mainly in the areas of Trexenta and Sulcis where they control some 600 acres that are planted to indigenous Sardinian varietals, which is a long way from when founder Antonio Argiolas, who died in 2009 at the age of 102, inherited just seven acres of vines from his father in 1938 and was introduced the island to modern viticulture. The winery notes, His sons, Franco and Giuseppe, replanted many of the vineyards in the 1980s with the goal of reducing yields and focusing exclusively on the Sardinian grapes and more recently Argiolas brought in the hugely talented enologist Mariano Murru, who has made this winery one of the best in Italy. Mostly known for their mainstream offerings, Vermentino di Sardegna (Rolle) and Cannonau di Sardegna (Grenache), Argiolas also does lots of native rarities, like this Nasco di Nuraghi, along with Bovale Sardo, Isola, Monica and Nuragus to name just of few of the dozens of unique varietals that are found tucked away in remote parts of Sardinia. This one is almost impossible to find in the states, but I highly recommend exploring all of the Argiolas offerings!
($30 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive