Vigne Surrau, Cannonau di Sardegna “Naracu” 2019 | Sardinia, Italy

By Dirk Smits

Wine of the Week – May 24, 2021

Only a few wine-growing regions maintain the Grenache purism, including Sardinia. Some Sardinians even claim that the varietal known there as Cannonau di Sardegna has an even longer tradition than elsewhere.

In Roussillon (Southern France) this thesis is vehemently disputed, pointing out that Grenache has been cultivated there since the 13th century. The Spaniards like to counter this and insist that Garnacha vines are said to have been planted in the Kingdom of Aragón even earlier. Anyone who speaks of Grenache or Garnacha, in Catalan of Garnatxa, almost always means powerful dark wines from Grenache Noir, often with 14.5 or more alcohol percentages. Examples are the Priorat wines from Spain, which have been world-famous for several decades, or the Collioure wines from Roussillon, which are grown on steep terraces..

Other connoisseurs believe that the Grenache prototype would be bottled in Gigondas, near Avignon, or nowhere would it be more convincing than in Châteauneuf-du-Pape. In fact, the wines differ considerably from here and there: slate soils result in completely different expressions than gravelly soils; the Priorat treasures from ancient vines taste differently from the mighty Châteauneufs with licorice notes.

One of the curiosities of Cannonau is its link to the longevity of Sardinians, many of whom live to be over 90 years old. Cannonau has an unusually high level of antioxidants which come from compounds found in the skins of the grapes. Antioxidants help fight against the breakdown of cells in our body and are linked to improved heart health and reduced instances of infection and some cancers.

Vigne Surrau takes its name from the Surrau Valley, located between the communes of Arzachena and Palau in the heart of the Gallura appellation in northern Sardegna. Tucked among the rugged hills with an impressive view of the Limbara granite massif, the winery is a short fifteen-minute drive to the Costa Smeralda and the crystalline waters of the Mediterranean Sea. The location provides a perfect growing area for both white and red wines of extraordinary character and elegance.

Vigne Surrau, Cannonau di Sardegna “Naracu” 2019

Origin: Sardinia, Italy
Varietals: 100% Cannonau (Grenache)
Sustainability: sustainable practices
Suggested retail price: $17.00
ABV: 14.5%

The wine displays a deep ruby color. The very perfumed nose exhibits aromas of violets, blueberries and a touch of spice. It is very balanced showing blackberries, licorice, lavender and finishes on fine tannins and good minerality.

Suggested food pairings: charcuterie, grilled sausages, grilled vegetables, pasta with meat sauce, cheeses.

> For more information, visit the Surrau official website