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VINO BIANCO “MODESTU”

Giovanni Montisci

VINO <i>BIANCO</i> “MODESTU” Giovanni Montisci - Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant
Mamoiada, in the heart of Sardegna’s mountainous interior, could be considered a grand cru site for the Cannonau grape. Planted at dizzying altitudes on granite soils, the grape reaches a grandiose expression that rivals, in its own way, the finest Grenaches from Châteauneuf or Priorat. One of Mamoiada’s foremost ambassadors, Giovanni Montisci cultivates just two hectares of bush-trained old vines at 650 meters elevation. The chilly nights here preserve a certain buoyancy to these deep, complex wines perfumed of wild fruit, flowers, Mediterranean herbs, and spices—a truly compelling translation of this extreme terroir, made for the hearty local cuisine of Sardegna’s mountains.
      Giovanni’s wines reflect his painstaking attention to detail, from the organic work in the vineyards—which he often plows with the help of a bull—to the gorgeous Quintarelli inspired labels that adorn the bottle. His wines are fermented spontaneously, aged in neutral wood, and bottled unfined and unfiltered with minimal added sulfur. They are proof that Sardegna is capable of much, much more than the simple quaffer.
      Modestu is a dry Moscato from sixty-year-old vines, fermented for five days on its skins. Mouth-fillingly fleshy, it will take you on an aromatic walkabout as it evolves in your glass. The word psychedelic sums it up nicely. 

Anthony Lynch

$46.00
Vintage: 2016
Bottle Size: 750mL
Blend: Moscato
Appellation: Vino da Tavola
Country: Italy
Region: Sardinia
Producer: Giovanni Montisci
Winemaker: Giovanni Montisci
Vineyard: 60 years
Soil: Sandy granite, clay
Farming: Organic (practicing)
Alcohol: 14%

More from this Producer or Region

About Sardinia

Our first foray into Sardegna is very recent, and it only took one trip to fall in love with the island, its culture, and its wines. Similar to its northerly neighbor, Corsica, there is a strong regional identity here that goes far beyond its official status as one of Italy’s twenty regions. Its people are proud, strong-willed, and deeply attached to their traditions—a distinctive character often seen with island people and accentuated by its long history of invasions and outside rule.

This tumultuous past has resulted in diverse influences—Greek, Roman, Aragonese, Catalan, and Ligurian, just to name a few—that have shaped the island’s culture, language, cuisine, and wines over many centuries. While Vermentino and Cannonau (aka Grenache) reign, Sardegna also boasts a number of indigenous grapes that are capable of expressing something unique in its abundant variety of terroirs.

The Mediterranean plays a major role, providing cooling, salty breezes to coastal areas, while the rugged, mountainous interior is home to high-altitude sites where wines retain freshness in spite of the southerly latitude. The granitic highlands of Gallura and Barbagia come to mind as some of its most qualitative zones, but a range of soils, elevations, and varying distance to the sea mean that the island is capable of producing wines in all styles, from crisp whites to powerful reds and exquisite vini dolci.

The three growers we represent bring something new to the table, something fascinating that is not found elsewhere in Italy or even in nearby Corsica. Their wines evoke the rustic beauty of this fascinating island civilization, and of course, pair perfectly with the local cuisine, be it seafood-based or the hearty, earthy specialties of its interior.

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Every three or four months I would send my clients a cheaply made list of my inventory, but it began to dawn on me that business did not pick up afterwards. It occurred to me that my clientele might not know what Château Grillet is, either. One month in 1974 I had an especially esoteric collection of wines arriving, so I decided to put a short explanation about each wine into my price list, to try and let my clients know what to expect when they uncorked a bottle. The day after I mailed that brochure, people showed up at the shop, and that is how these little propaganda pieces for fine wine were born.—Kermit Lynch

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