Friday, April 7, 2017

Montessu 2013 Isola dei Nuraghi IGT, Sardinia

Looking for a perfect pairing for your Easter meal? Try something different – like a wine made with Carignano…

Learning To Love IGT

Chances are the initials IGT mean nothing to you. Or perhaps you think it stands for International Gaming Technology – not on this blog! IGT is Indicazione Geographica Tipica in Italy’s wine hierarchy. It’s a level below the prestigious DOC but above the simple table wine.

IGT wines includes those wines that have a typical style for the region. In some cases the looser regulations on grape varieties and production methods give the winemaker freedom to experiment outside the bonds of tradition. That’s how the world renowned Super Tuscans were born.

Sun Drenched Sardinia

Italy has two island wine regions: Sicily and Sardinia. Sardinia, surrounded by the Mediterranean and Tyrrhenian seas, basks in plentiful sunshine and high temperatures.

When we attended a dinner party with tasting team members Cabernetor and Glorious T, we brought along a bottle of 2013 Montessu IGT wine. It impressed as a tasty partner for a meal that included a variety of appetizers plus shrimp, beef and mushrooms.

Montessu comes from the southwest of Sardinia in the Sulcis Iglesiente region known for its brown, sandy soil. The warm, well-exposed terrain is ideal for great red wines. The predominate grape in Montessu is Carignano, also known as Carignan. It is mostly known as a blending grape, but in the Montessu it provides great depth and richness.

The climate in Sulcis Iglesiente is also optimal for international grape varieties. This bottle is packed with some of these international varieties, specifically Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Each year the percentages of each component vary depending on the outcome of the harvest. For 2013, the winemaker had it dialed in just right.

Something For Your Easter Basket?

For your Easter dinner, you might plan on cooking up ham, lamb or maybe chicken. For lamb and chicken, the Montessu will be spot on.

On the palate the Montessu is full and rich. The tannins are soft, giving it an elegant texture that is food friendly. Unless your nickname is “the Cabernetor” a Cabernet Sauvignon would be too heavy for a typical Easter meal. In contrast, the Carignano blend of Montessu delivers ample berry flavors in a style that is a crowd pleaser with aficionados and newbies alike.

This comes highly recommended for a special occasion. If no special occasion is on the horizon, we suggest you invent one. Montessu has a retail price of $31.

Full disclosure: We received this wine as a marketing sample

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