with our wine correspondent Cormac Power, proprietor of The Fat Angel Restaurant, Cathedral Square, Waterford
SARDINIA is an island that sits off the west coast of Italy just below the French island of Corsica. While you might have heard of its pristine swimming coves and beaches the dramatic rugged mountainous landscape may come as a bit of a surprise. Prickly pears scatter the roadways loving the hot Mediterranean sun, but there is another fruit here that excels without the treacherous thorns. Sardinian people differ greatly from mainland Italians and this is reflected in their wines. With varieties closer to Spain and to a lesser extent France Sardinian wine has its own unique style. The dominant red grape variety is Cannonau or Granacha in Spain, while Vermentino rules the roost for the white wines. Cannonau can be very full bodied while Vermentino is typically medium bodied with refreshing acidity. This possibly reflects the Sardinians appetite for meat rather than fish, a legacy of times past when fear of pirates raiding the coastline prevailed. Most wineries are small landholdings with minimum production just for local use, some bigger wineries produce at a scale that allows export. One such winery is Cantina Mesa with an interesting array of both red and white wines. This is a very modern winemaking operation with stainless steel vats and gravity systems for fermentation. With future investment set to match current investment this is a winery that is going to go from strength to strength.
Cantina Mesa Primo Bianco Sardinia Italy
This wine is clear, pale straw in colour. The bouquet is both intense and delicate, with emphatic fragrances of citrus and bergamot, floral essences of roses, and pungent rosemary. The palate is crisp, dry and savoury, with a lovely delicacy and a finesse that continues throughout the long finish.