Giovanni Montisci Cannonau di Sardegna Riserva 2012 Front Label
Giovanni Montisci Cannonau di Sardegna Riserva 2012 Front Label

Giovanni Montisci Cannonau di Sardegna Riserva 2012

    750ML / 0% ABV
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    Giovanni Montisci

    Giovanni Montisci

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    Giovanni Montisci, Italy
    With a mere two hectares of vines and a radically artisanal approach to his craft, Giovanni Montisci has established himself as one of Mamoiada’s foremost ambassadors. Unsatisfied in his job as a mechanic, he turned his full attention to cultivating tiny vineyard plots inherited from his wife’s family, ultimately bottling his first wine from the 2004 vintage. He has since earned a cult-like following for his powerful and distinctive Cannonaus from organically farmed old vines grown up to 650 meters elevation. The chilly nights here allow for slow and steady ripening, preserving precious acidity and favoring rich, complex wines perfumed of wild fruit, flowers, Mediterranean herbs, and spices—a truly compelling translation of this extreme terroir, which shines alongside the hearty local cuisine of Sardegna’s mountains.

    Giovanni’s wines are the product of his painstaking attention to detail, from the meticulous work among his ancient alberello-trained vines to the gorgeous Quintarelli-inspired labels adorning each bottle. All of his wines, including the fleshy dry Moscato and deep, vinous Cannonau rosato, are fermented spontaneously, aged in neutral wood, and bottled unfined and unfiltered with minimal SO2. “Barrosu”, his flagship Cannonau, perfectly embodies the rugged beauty of these mountainous highlands, while the Riserva “Franzisca”, from 85-year-old vines, displays astonishing finesse for such a potent, structured red—proof that Sardegna is capable of much, much more than the simple quaffer.

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    Hailed for centuries as a Mediterranean vine-growing paradise, multiple cultures over many centuries have ruled the large island of Sardinia. Set in the middle of the Tyrrhenian Sea, the Phonoecians, Ancient Rome, and subsequently the Byzantines, Arabs and Catalans have all staked a claim on the island at some point in history. Along the way, these inhabitants transported many of their homeland’s prized vines and today Sardinia’s modern-day indigenous grape varieties claim multiple origins. Sardinia’s most important red grapes—namely Cannonau (a synonym for Grenache) and Carignan—are actually of Spanish origin.

    Vermentino, a prolific Mediterranean variety, is the island’s star white. Vermentino has a stronghold the Languedoc region of France as well as Italy’s western and coastal regions, namely Liguria (where it is called Pigato), Piedmont (where it is called Favorita) and in Tuscany, where it goes by the name, Vermentino. The best Vermentino, in arguably all of the Mediterranean, grows in Sardinia's northeastern region of Gallura where its vines struggle to dig roots deep down into north-facing slopes of granitic soils. These Vermentino vines produce highly aromatic, full and concentrated whites of unparalleled balance.

    Today aside from its dedication to viticulture, Sardinia remains committed to maintaining its natural farmlands, bucolic plains of grazing sheep and perhaps most of all, its sandy, sunny, Mediterranean beaches.

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    Grenache thrives in any warm, Mediterranean climate where ample sunlight allows its clusters to achieve full phenolic ripeness. While Grenache's birthplace is Spain (there called Garnacha), today it is more recognized as the key player in the red blends of the Southern Rhône, namely Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Côtes du Rhône and its villages. Somm Secret—The Italian island of Sardinia produces bold, rustic, single varietal Grenache (there called Cannonau). California, Washington and Australia have achieved found success with Grenache, both flying solo and in blends.

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