I know that I am not alone in this sentiment, but I have always wanted to travel to Sardinia. In a perfect world, to write about Agricola Punica 2011 Montessu, I would grab my passport, wine key, and white linen suit and hitch the next flight to Cagliari. Although this bottle is not going to put a stamp on your passport, it will give you a sense of the beach like beauty and rich history Sardinia has to offer.
The Agricola Punica 2011 Montesseu provides an elegant yet raucous everyday experience. A wine that has been gaining international popularity and critical acclaim, it has also won me over. My first taste of Agricola Punica was the 2009 Barrua, and I was drawn to the robust flavor and unique tannins that it had to offer. I realized that this producer had something special. Founded in 2002 by a dream team of modern wine—Sebastiano Rosa of Tenuta di Argiano, Marchese Nicoló Incisa della Rocchetta of Tenuta San Guido, and Giacomo Tachis of Sassicaia—Agricola Punica is a driving force in the region.
Located in southwestern Sardinia’s Sulcis Meridionale region, Agricola Punica’s principal grape is Carignano, both newly planted and old-vine bush-trained, that’s grown alongside Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The hot, dry climate of southern Sardinia is one of the best places in the world for growing the late ripening Carignano grape, and the fusion of the Sardinian Carignano and Bordeaux grapes creates a style reminiscent of the OG Super Tuscans created by Giacomo Tachis.
After a long day of hosting and tasting wine, I settled in at home and popped open the ’11 Montessu to enjoy with my brother. Previously that day I had helped host the “Indigenous Italy” Saturday Public Tasting Series; even after tasting and learning about the beautiful wines that day, I was very excited to have a grape I rarely drink, a bottling I had not had yet, from a company I always enjoy. With glasses in hand, my brother and I stepped out onto the terrace and unwound with the wine. At first approach, the wine shows a plush deep purple color and has a nose of rain spattered dark violets with a hint of red licorice. The Montesseu offers round, palate-wrapping soft flavors of ripe plums and dark cherries, followed by light tannins, a smooth toasted oak quality, and brisk acidity. The 2011 Montesseu is a true diamond in the rough; it’s an incredibly delicious, unique wine that exudes its “holiday on the beach” character.
Less than $30 a bottle, Agricola Punica 2011 Montesseu is a beautiful wine from a beautiful place—it truly tastes like sunshine in a bottle. I would stock up on this vintage before it flies out of our cellars.