The Rest of the Story About Carignano from Sant’Antioco

Church Sant Antioco di Bisarcio near OzieriI’ve been writing the Tasting Notes that accompany the wines featured by Vinesse for 20 years. I haven’t kept track precisely, but a pretty fair estimate would be a few thousand Tasting Notes.

When a fairly new addition to the Vinesse team heard about that, he asked me whether I ever got tired of writing about wine. I didn’t even have to think about my answer: Never.

The reason? Because of something Vinesse founder Larry Dutra told me on the day I met him: “Every wine has a story. Some are just more interesting than others.”

Yes, there are times when getting information from winemakers or winery owners can be like prying a chocolate bar out of the hands of a child… not that I make a habit out of doing that. But even when I don’t have much to go on, there’s always something.

Every so often, however, the Vinesse tasting panel selects a wine with a story that almost tells itself. In such cases, my job is to sort through the wealth of information and pare it down to the most interesting parts that also will fit the format of our Tasting Notes. That’s what I refer to as “a nice problem.”

Such was the case recently when I was working on Tasting Notes for The World of Wine Club. One of the featured wine selections was the 2012 Nur Carignano del Sulcis, a red wine from Italy’s island of Sant’Antioco, west of Sardinia. I was able to describe the variety and the island briefly, but I was left with so much more to say… er, write. So, allow me to do it here.

Carignano is the Italian name for the French variety known as Carignan. In Italy, many believe that the very best Carignano grapes are grown in the southwestern corner of Sant’Antioco.

Why? Because the coastal zone provides the perfect combination of soils, sunshine and weather. That’s something that has been known on the island dating back to the days of the Phoenicians.

Of course, the grapevines planted by the Phoenicians are long gone. But the Carignano vines now producing are in their prime. That, combined with the idyllic climate, is a recipe for delicious wines.

It may not always be so, but it is for the present.

As Paul Harvey used to say, now you know the rest of the story.

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Posted in Editor's Journal
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