I recently had the pleasure of a visit from Antonio Argiolas, the great grandson of Antonio Argiolas, the founder of the vineyard. We sat down at one of my restaurants and tasted through his portfolio. I sell several of Argiolas wines at Varanos, although I have to admit, it had been a while since I last tasted their red wines. Our tasting was like a walk back in time. In the restaurant business, the number one reason customers stop frequenting your restaurant is they simply forget about you. With all the choices consumers have today for both restaurants and wines, it’s easy to see, how you could be overlooked. I have to admit, in the case of Argiolas wines, I simply forgot how good and how reasonably priced they are.That is why, Varanos will be featuring Argiolas Perdera for the month of October.
Argiolas was founded in 1918, that was when Francesco Argiolas planted the first vines along with some prisoners of war. It really wasn’t until Francesco’s son, Antonio took over the winery that it began to thrive. With the inclusion of Antonio’s two sons, in the 1970’s, major investments were made to the winery which effected the entire way wine was produced along with how it was cellared. Until 1989, all the wine produced at Argiolas was bulk wine, that was produced and shipped to other wineries outside of their region. In 1989, that all changed, Argiolas hired oenologist Mariano Murru, and began producing wine under their own label. Today, Argiolas is considered one of the premier producers in Sardinia.
Antonio Argiolas has passed away, leaving his legacy to his two sons and and his grandchildren. There have been many changes to the winery, including the addition of Giacomo Tachis, one of the leading oenologists in all of Italy. Tachis is the oenologist behind Italian legends, Sassicaia, Solaia and Tignanello. With the team of Mariano Murru and Giacomo Tachis, Argiolas is comfortably resting atop the pinnacle of Sardinian Wine Producers. One of Argiolas’ claim to fame is their exclusive use of local grapes grown on Sardinia. International grape varieties are never found in their wines, which makes their wines, some of the best pairing wines with local foods. From their white vermentino wine to their flagship reds, the entire portfolio of wines are approachable and reflect the true characteristics of Sardinian Wines.
When selecting a wine for our feature each month, I try and choose a wine that is not necessarily found on every shelf. My goal is to introduce our customers to something they might not try on their own and a wine that pairs well with our food at Varanos. The Argiolas Perdera fits that criteria to a tee. The thing I like about Perdera, is the fact that it is made predominantly from a lesser known grape variety of Sardinia. The grape is called Monica, it is about ninety percent Monica with about five percent Carignano and five percent Bovale Sardo. This unique grape combination is a perfect example of Sardinian Terroir. Argiolas utilizes it’s terroir as it’s top asset, while taking advantage of a wonderful Mediterranean Climate. The wine is aged in French oak barrels for about six months, producing a structured wine with an elegant finish. The intense ruby color is a result of the Monica grapes. The wine shows ripe cherries with wonderful firm tannins. This is a vibrant young wine, that pairs well with spicy foods, and pasta sauces with and without meats, along with casseroles and fish stews. If you love Italian Food, and your dinner has a red sauce on it, you can’t go wrong with this wine.
It’s always fun trying new wines from all over Italy, discovering new wines and sharing them with your friends is what wine drinking wine is all about. At Varanos, we love sharing our unique wines and expanding everyone’s wine repertoire. Sitting at a table, sharing conversation, great food and wine is life at it’s best. Eating Italian food is always better, when it’s paired with great wine and shared with friends. Now that’s the Italian way.
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