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2019 Alghero Cagnulari “Arsenale”

Vigne Rada
Discount Eligible $36.00
SOLD OUT

Cagnulari owns the spotlight around Alghero, on the island’s northwest coast. Thought to be the local version of Spain’s Graciano, possibly introduced to Sardinia during the period of Catalan occupation centuries ago, Cagnulari is a dense, inky red. In the three years since we began working with family-run Vigne Rada, we have seen their Cagnulari go from an unapologetically tannic, tooth-staining animal to something velvety, replete with rich black fruit and fragrant reminders of the scrubby coastal vegetation that surrounds the vineyards. Rada’s dense, minty Cagnulari is a reminder to take Sardinian reds very seriously. Make room on your table and in your cellar to savor novel flavors from these newfound stars of this Mediterranean paradise.

Anthony Lynch


Technical Information
Wine Type: red
Vintage: 2019
Bottle Size: 750mL
Blend: Cagnulari
Appellation: Alghero
Country: Italy
Region: Sardinia
Producer: Vigne Rada
Winemaker: Bardino family
Vineyard: 5 years average
Soil: Alluvial with riverbed stones and quartz
Aging: Wine ages in stainless steel tank for 12 months and then 4-6 months in 500L oak tonneaux (no new oak)
Farming: Sustainable
Alcohol: 14.1%

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About The Region

Sardinia

map of 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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Old wine bottles

Let the brett nerds retire into protective bubbles, and whenever they thirst for wine it can be passed in to them through a sterile filter. Those of us on the outside can continue to enjoy complex, natural, living wines.

Inspiring Thirst, page 236