Memories of Lives, Memories of Vines

Memorie di Vite 2018
Red Wine
100% Carignano
Arborea, Sardegna, Italy
Low intervention, bush-trained vines, indigenous yeast, unfined and unfiltered
Winemaking couple: Piero Cella and Luciana Baso

Deep ruby with garnet rim. Roses bloom before your nose and as it opens butterfly lilacs, salt/sea breeze, figs, plums, cherries, and balsamic. Ok, maybe I’m crazy but it reminds me a little or Chef Stefano Baldantoni’s balsamic reduction which I am so in love with and could eat a vat. Tasting tart cherry mixed with that lovely balsamic reduction. There’s also blood orange zest, dried figs, dried oregano, salt, dates, and a dark, deep velvety richness. As it continues to grow…sweet, fragrant, smooth fine silk that’s not a princess…it’s a regal, rich, well dressed queen that in the end is draped in heavy tapestry garments.

Pairs with Cheez-It’s: sweet and smooth

When we can travel again, my frequent flier points are definitely leaning toward Italy (sorry Spain even though you know how much I love you). How many Sardinian wines (this is my 4th Quartomoro) have I fallen for and this 100% Carignano really pulls me. I have a huge thing for Carignano from being at times a blending grape to an elevation and respect of a solo, which is what Piero and Luciana are doing with their Memorie di Vite project. This grape is so fragrant and has such depth when grown and treated right. Quartomoro’s ungrafted pre filloxera vineyard (in Sulcis) was originally planted back in 1967 (before I was born) by a family friend and has zero chemicals messing with it. What a exquisite expression they’ve managed to capture through love and care of this historic, native grape. Ok, that does it. I’m changing my Babbel subscription back to Italian, and when the time comes my bags will be packed. Ciao!

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Frizzante sui Lieviti
100% Vermentino
Arborea, Sardegna, Italy
Low intervention, guyot training, unfined and unfiltered
Winemaking couple: Piero Cella and Luciana Baso

Hazy golden bubbly with pretty sediment just waiting for you at the base. Pop that cap and come on lemon! You know those light layered wafer cookies that has lemon cream between each layer. Also some tangerine and dainty white flowers. Lift and swig and more lemon on my tongue with a tad of grapefruit, apple, pinch of salt, and a savory mix of spices: sage, thyme rosemary, and a toasty cinnamon thing. It’s crispy and bouncy, and I’m just realizing there’s reminders of Orangina. Fabulous sparkler and IPA lovers would have fun with it too. Best of both worlds

Pairs with Cheez-It’s: no complaints here

Quartomoro has been creating this beauty since 2012. Almost feels like an ancient science experiment, but then so do most wines when you really think about it. From what I read, they take last year’s non bubbly Vermentino (on the lees) and re-ferment the dry base in the bottle and then add the next year’s freshly crushed juice, skin, seed mixture (the must) and the ancestral method works it’s magic. Abracadabra! You have this unfined, unfiltered and non vintage bottle. I’m guessing, I’m drinking a mix of 2018 and 2019, due to the harvests being in September, but feel free to let me know if I’m wrong. It’s nice to think I’m sipping something from before all this 2020 mess. Here’s again to 2021! Raise that glass of frizzante and welcome this New Year in with a big smooch!

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Oh, You Lovely Old Indigenous Grape You

Òrriu di Sardegna 2018
sulle bucce
100% Vernaccia di Oristano
Arborea, Sardegna, Italy
Low intervention, dry farmed, guyot training
Winemaking couple: Piero Cella and Luciana Baso

Beautiful gold like the the ring I’d like on my finger. Sniffing mandarin orange, lemon zest, lilac, salt, and also hints of grapefruit and honeysuckle blossoms. Tasting lots of citrus, some darkness of deep melon, honey, vanilla, flowers and of course almond. This is a beautiful rich gift wrapped up in a bow with a cork on top.

Pairs with Cheez-It’s: NOPE! Makes it bitter

Oh, you lovely old indigenous grape you, Vernaccia di Oristano. I swear Sardinia produces some of the most beautiful grapes. Why the heck haven’t I visited there yet? Just you wait, once this pandemic is under control, my bags are packed. So, I’m reading there’s a tale that if you drink a good bit of Vernaccia, it will ward off malaria. Definitely curious to see who came up with that, how tipsy they were, and how much of it is true, because hey you never know. As I wrote in my post “Genie in a Bottle” on the rare grape Granazza (Granatza), some people mistake that grape for Vernaccia di Oristano. There are similarities, but each is an entirely different beast. Also Piero Cella and Luciana Baso’s creation is of a more modern style Vernaccia and lighter than the old more traditional oxidized and sherry-like styles. They let that grape sing! It’s rich, fresh, and full of life! Cheers!

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Harmonic Symphony

Òrriu Cannonau di Sardegna 2018
100% Cannonau
Arborea, Sardegna, Italy
Low intervention, dry farmed, guyot training
Winemaking couple: Piero Cella and Luciana Baso

Vibrant ruby glory! When the cork came out it was a cloud of vanilla, dark depth, flowers, forest and cherries of course. Sweet yet tangy fragrance makes me think of ponzu sauce.  Dark and rich flavors of plum, cherries, blueberries, dried figs, and a pinch of Sumac.

Pairs with Cheez-It’s: Plum turns to sweet prune. Just smooth

A little bird sat on my shoulder and whispered, “Rumor has it that this is the best Cannonau right now!” My feathered friend is definitely onto something. Even though this is a young vineyard (located in the Marrubiu vineyard) the pulverized volacnic/granite enrichment of the soil brings out the best of these grapes. As Piero Cella says, “Our goal is always to make a harmonic symphony from the grapes and to put that into our bottles, at the same time with the real essence of our island.” Harmonic symphony is a very lovely way to put it. It’s as graceful and rich as their wine…and guess what? I have two more of their bottles in the mix to try in the near future. It’s going to be a fun week!

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