Cannonau di Sardegna, Nepente di Oliena

Cannonna di Sardegna comes from the Italian island of Sardinia but it's better known
Posted 16th September 2011        

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Cannonna di Sardegna comes from the Italian island of Sardinia but it’s better known by it’s French name Grenache.

The vine is widely planted on the eastern side of the island and is cultivated in bush vines. Sardinia is not a major Italian wine producer but recently some producers have begun to make some seriously good wine and Cannonau is one grape that does very well in the hot Sardinian sun.

I was in Charlotte’s Bistro in Chiswick, West London the other night and owner Alex Wrethman suggested the 2004 Cantina Gostolai Nepente di Oliena Riserva. At the time, I had heard of the Cannanau grape but couldn’t really remember what it tasted like or any other defining characteristics.

It was an Italian wine though, and a 2004, so I thought it had to be good.

Alex had decanted the wine and we let it sit for a bit longer while we enjoyed a  few cocktails at the bar. Finally, the wine was poured and I stuck in. Wow! What a nose! I could have fallen into this wine, the aromas were extremely enticing and I could have sniffed this wine all night long. It was a bit dusty at first then complex barnyard aromas and layers of red fruit – black cherry and raspberry springing to mind. After a bit, I noticed that dark chocolate and toast also emanated from the bottom of the glass.

After all that, I was more then happy to just sniff but I had to do my duty as the Winesleuth and took a sip. Delicious! A supple and velvety wine with plenty of ripe raspberry and black cherry flavours but not overripe. The tannins were very smooth and there was a kick of acidity at the end of the wine. It finished on a nice toasty chocolate note. I enjoyed this wine immensely, it was a fabulous surprise.

Italy has a plethora of wines that are, in my opinion, very under-rated and Cannonau di Sargenga is definitely a grape that you should keep in mind when picking out a wine.


One Response to “Cannonau di Sardegna, Nepente di Oliena”

  1. […] wine list and while I was there, we also tried a cannonau di Sardegna (you can read about it here). The wine list is chockful of off the beaten track wines. The general manager referred to many of […]

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Denise Medrano
I'm an American ex-pat who is fascinated by wine. Previous to my arrival in London, I had done a sommelier course in Buenos Aires, Argentina so I knew I wanted to be in the wine trade but where to start? I started where so many people in the UK wine trade start, Oddbins. I was fortunate in that Oddbins back then had a great wine education partnership with the Wine and Spirit Educational Trust and I was able take the WSET courses. I currently have the WSET Advanced Certificate as well as holding a UK personal alcohol license. Another advantage to working at Oddbins was that I had access to all the wine trade shows. Imagine, being able to go and try as many wines as you could in one day! Whew! I have to admit, I didn't do much spitting back then and the next day, I was wishing I had at least taken better notes. I started looking around on the web for blogs that covered the London wine scene and found there were none. Well, none that appealed to me. None that were a mix of trade and consumer views and opinions. And none that really talked about what a great centre of wine this fabulous city of London is. So I rolled up my sleeves, bought a domain name and the rest, as they say, is The Winesleuth history. The Winesleuth Website - Follow The Winesleuth on Twitter