Argiolas S.p.A. – Serdiana, Cagliari, Italy
When WineCountry.IT president Loris Scagliarini and vice president John Dawdy visited the facilities last June 2003, they first drove north on highway 131, then eastward on a low-traffic, two-way road. All around, dotted with and framed by olive trees were low vineyards of Monica di Sardegna, Cannonau, Carignano and Malvasia grapes among other varieties. In Serdiana, they found the winery in via Roma, right in the center of the small village.
The wine-maker, Dr. Mariano Murru received introduced them to the winery history, which is one and the same with Antonio Argiolas' and his family history's.
Signor Antonio, today 97 years old, founded the company dedicated to growing grapes and olives and producing oil and wine in 1940. Until 1989, the wine was sold in bulk to other wineries outside Cagliari then, the company started bottling its own brand of wines, hiring Mr. Murru to produce compelling interpretations of the local grape varieties. It was a winning choice, since under the management of Franco and Giuseppe Argiolas, sons of the founder Antonio, the winery flourished and wine-maker Mariano Murru created two superstars among the island red wines.
Turriga is the winery's top wine. Made with 85% cannonau, the remaining 15% is Malvasia Nera (Black Malvasia), Carignano and Bovale Sardo. The 1997 is a particularly excellent vintage, with black fig and black cherry flavors and exotic aromas reminiscent of the Sardinian flora and the Mediterranean sun. Make no mistake about it, is definitely a strong wine but carries its might with seductive grace. It is a wine with a long life that ripens and improves with age.
Korem is the runner-up in the family, but I met respected restaurateurs that swear by it. A blend of Bovale Sardo, Cannonau and Carignano, it offers meaty, substantial, roasted cherry flavors held together in a solid structure.
These are pricey, top-of-the-line wines. Argiolas S.p.A. though, produces a whole range of red and white wines which are less expensive but still offer an outstanding quality-price ratio. The whole line of products listed below includes Grappa di Turriga and excellent extra virgin olive oil.
- Turriga, Cannonau, Carignano, Bovale Sardo and Malvasia Nera, red, I.G.T.
- Argiolas, Vermentino with the addition of about 6% of white aromatic grapes, white, I.G.T.
Isola dei Nuraghi I.G.T.
- Korem, Bovale Sardo, Carignano and small quantity of Cannonau, red, I.G.T.
- Costamolinos, Vermentino di Sardegna, white, D.O.C.
- Costera, Cannonau (90%), red, D.O.C.
- Pedrera, Monica di Sardegna (90%), red, D.O.C.
- S'elegas, Nuragus di Cagliari, white, I.G.T.
- Serra Lori, Cannonau, Monica, Carignano e Bovale Sardo, rosé, I.G.T.
- Cerdeña, Vermentino with little amounts of other local grapes, white, first year of production 2000, I.G.T.
- Alasi, Bovale, Montepulciano, Pascale e Carignano, red (Vino Novello, or "Youg Wine", usually released in November)
- Grappa di Turriga, Aguardiente-like Italian liquor
- Iolao, Extra virgin olive oil.