Monday, 12 September 2011

FROM TABARKA TO CARLOFORTE: A MEDITERRANEAN FOOD HISTORY AMONG GENOA, TUNISIA AND SARDINIA – PART 3

CARLOFORTE E CALASETTA. THE WINE LIST, PLEASE!

Is Solus (Doc Carignano del Sulcis) - Cantine Sardus Pater (Sant'Antioco) feature the rarity of own rooted (a piede franco) grape vines



The wines produced in Carloforte and Calasetta do deserve specific attention. Local ampelography reveals a fully Mediterranean setting – linked to Sardinia and Corse – where thanks to soil (volcanic-sandy), climate and human work it is possible to enjoy remarkable whites and reds, the fruit of vines resistant both to phylospora and saltiness.
The vineyards of San Pietro are beautiful, harmoniously sheltered from the impetuous northwest and southeast winds and dotted with some ancient white dwellings inhabited by the carlofortini in Summer and Autumn at harvest time. The indigenous grape variety is the ramungiò, which in the areas of Giunco and Sabino provides a dry white (13° average), the ideal match for local catch of the day fish, to be drunk cool and young in order to appreciate its perfumes. Other better known grape varieties are grown, though: carignano (accounting for wines rich in red fruits and spices) the monica (an excellent black variety, probably Spanish, responsible for dry, medium-sweet and fortified wines),the bovale (a.k.a. muristellu, bovaleddu…, it provides a red full of character, fruity, tannic, fit for ageing), the granaccia (or cannonau, a Mediterranean emblem of likely Aragonese origins, it boasts numberless synonyms and produces a scenting, elegant, dry and pleasantly bitter red), the moscato bianco (an aromatic variety already known in ancient Greece, it produces complex wines, with citrus or honey notes), the nuragus (the word dates back to the an era preceding both Phoenician and Greek, and defines a resistant white grape providing a sapid white, resinous, with good acidity and pleasantness), vermentino (what else?), trebbiano (Italy’s most common white grape, it provides discreetly fragrant wines, yet sapid and fruity) and – last but not least – some fortified free-run musts are the protagonists of ratafià (18°/22°), pale ruby, musky and mellow, the best choice for unleavened desserts and very tangy cheeses.
In Sant’Antioco the main variety is the above mentioned carignano, black fruit, Catalan origin (cariñena), grown also in France and Corse. It accounts for dark, hearty, dry, valid alcohol content; the palate reveals red fruits, spices, leather and toasted notes. The island also provides the so called Calasetta rosé (cerasuolo vinification, i.e. with a minimal contact between skin and must), and Vermentino.





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