Very intense, dark, deep ruby red; ample & complex nose of black cherry fruit, leather & game laced with subtle spice, vanilla, black pepper, dried flowers; palate shows ripe cherries, well integrated oak & spices, smooth, silky texture & layered complexi
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One of the most fascinating details about SHARDANA (c. 85% Carignano, 15% Shiraz) resides in the seafront vines: some over 100 years old, many rare, pre-Phylloxera stock. Their roots grow in finely textured, wind-swept sand that naturally:
1. Makes it difficult for Phylloxera to deposit its eggs.
2. When the parasite does attack the roots, producing small holes in them, these cavities are immediately filled up by grains of sand that “heal the wounds”, allowing the plant to thrive in spite of Phylloxera.
This exceptional circumstance, together with state-of-the-art quality standards and 1 year’s careful elevage in barrique, produce an extract-packed, luscious, full-bodied wine. The color is a deep, deep purple with ruby reflections indicating concentration, intensity, complexity. Its black cherry notes are ripely confirmed on the nose, where fruit, leather and game are laced with subtle spice. On the palate, lingering aromas of mature cherries, well integrated oak and spices, smooth, silky texture and layered structure, very long finish.
Wine maker notes
Seafront vines in S Sulcis: some over 100 years old, many rare, pre-Phylloxera stock; their roots grow in finely textured, wind-swept sand. Carignano is bush-trained, Syrah counterespalier. Soil is sandy-calcareous, climate hot & dry in summer, mild in wi
VINIFICATION AND AGING
Manual harvest late Sept.-Oct. 20; temperature-controlled fermentation in stainless steel, maceration on the skins for c. 14 days. Undergoes malolactic. Dec./Jan. after harvest, the wine is racked into fine-textured French oak barriques, where it is aged
Best served at 18° C (64.4° F) in a very large wine glass with medium-wide opening. Matches seasoned cheeses, roasts, red meat, kid and lamb.
On Sardinia’s extreme southwest coastline, we find Sulcis: a cape of gently rolling land, jutting out into the Mediterranean in one ample sweep of white sand, steep vineyards and emerald waves. As you sail into the island from the south, Sulcis is your first view of Sardinia. It was this blue-green shore the Phoenicians first glimpsed from their Middle Eastern vessels, three thousand years ago. From the Sulcis peninsula, these adventurous traders navigated northwards, eventually colonizing the entire island. Shardana was their name for the native Sardinians’ and the mysterious red symbol on the label is a Phoenician ”S”.
Three thousand years later, Neil and Maria Empson chose this ancient word for their own tribute to beautiful Sardinia: a full-bodied, voluptuous red from indigenous, pre-phylloxera, Carignano grapes, with a small percentage of Shiraz. This wine was an ongoing rumor long before its release, for the Empsons wanted perfection, and were ready to wait for it. The style was inspired by Sulcis’ exceptional terroir and reflects the region’s power-packed, layered complexity; the depth of its seas, the spicy fragrance of its Mediterranean winds. The label is as striking as the wine - stark, simple graphics, the enigmatic Phoenician emblem and slate-colored nuraghe (Sardinia’s giant, prehistoric stone tower) that tell us so much about this island, and the wine’s unique story.
Sulcis includes some of the hottest, driest, and wildest areas on the island which provides the perfect groundwork for high-quality viticulture, and an ideal home to Carignano. This sturdy indigenous grape is extremely ancient, probably originated in Carifera (Spain). Through the centuries, the Sardinian version acquired an identity of its own, distinct from its genetic cousin, French Carignan. Today, Carignano shows the richness and nobility in the skilful hands of winemakers Davide Pera and famous friend/consultant Giacomo Tachis.
When the Empsons began the SHARDANA project, in 1996, they chose the Santadi team as their ideal partners, selecting the winery’s seafront vineyards for their outstanding terroir, microclimate, and ampelographic history. Their dedication was rewarded in June 1999 when the wine was finally released, and the Empsons found the wine to be everything they dreamed of. SHARDANA captured the spirit of the Emerald Island in all its bewitching complexity, and spoke for this incredible soil in its own, unique accents.