Sella & Mosca’s I Piani estate in Sardinia is situated in the northwest corner of the island just inland from the port of Alghero. The 1,600 acre property has more than 1,200 aces of vines making it one of the largest wine estates in Europe.
Sella & Mosca was founded in 1899 by Sig. Sella and Sig. Mosca. Today the Campari Group owns the estate. All the grapes are estate grown and they are converting to organic farming.
I was very impressed by the winery when I visited a number of years ago. Recently I had the opportunity to try these wines again.
The speakers were Giovanni Pinna, the chief wine maker and GianMatteo Baldi, managing director.
La Cala Vermentino di Sardegna DOC 2015 100% Vermentino. After the harvest, select grape bunches are exposed to the warm autumn sunlight and undergo a brief, natural drying process. Following a gentle pressing, the juices are fermented in stainless steel vats for 12 days at a low temperature. The wine remains in the bottle a short time and is released at its optimum freshness. The wine has citrus aromas and flavors with hints of pear. $13.99
Terre Bianche Torbato di Alghero Doc 2014 100% Torbato The grapes are manually and mechanically harvested between September and October. Fermentation takes place in stainless steel vats at a low temperature for 20 days with natural yeast. 30% of the juice is aged for four months in 2 or 3 year old barrels. $20.99
GianMatteo said they have the last of the Torbato grape on the island of Sardinia, or any place else. One of the reasons for this is that Sella & Mosca started out as a nursery. When I visited the winery we had a sparkling Torbato, which I really enjoyed. When I asked GianMatteo if they still make it he said yes but at this time it was not available in this country.
Terre Rare Carignano del Sulcis DOC 2012 made from 100% Carignano. Grapes are harvested by hand in October and fermentation is in stainless steel vats for 10 to 15 days. Malolactic fermentation takes place soon after the alcoholic fermentation is complete. The wine is aged for 3 years in used French barriques and for several months in bottle before release. The wine is rich and concentrated with hints of cherry, raspberries and a touch of spice. $14.99
Cannonau di Sardegna Riserva DOC 2012 100% Cannonau. Grapes are harvested manually and mechanically in late autumn and undergo fermentation in stainless steel vats for 15 days. The wine is aged in large Slavonian oak barrels and for several months in bottle before release. This wine had bright red fruit, with hints of cherry and plum. This is a very good food wine and a bargain for the price. $16.99
Tanca Farrá Alghero DOC 2011 made from 50% Cannonau and 50% Cabernet Sauvignon. The grapes are harvested by hand in September and October. After crushing there is a 3-day cold fermentation, followed by fermentation is stainless steel vats at a controlled temperature. The varieties are blended and the wine is aged for 3 years, first in used barriques and then in traditional large Slavonian oak casks. The wine remains in bottle for 12 months before release.
Giovanni said Tanca Farra means “Iron Earth” in the Sardinian dialect because of the high iron content of the soil in this portion of the estate where the grapes are grown. $26.99
Cabernet Sauvignon with a difference: Marchese di Villamarina
Sella & Mosca has been making this wine since the 1950’s. It is a style of Cabernet that I really like.
It is a complex elegant wine with nice red fruit aromas and flavors with a hint of leather and a touch of spice. It has a long finish and a very pleasing after taste. It is a wine that can be enjoyed with food. The wines were showing very well. This is a wine that needs years to develop. The 1999 and 1989 showed no signs of age though the 1989 had become mellower and was my favorite.
Giovanni took us through a tasting of these wines.
We tasted the 2010, 2009,1999 and 1989.
Marchese di Villamarina Algero DOC 2010 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. Grapes are harvested manually and mechanically in late autumn and fermented in stainless steel vats. The wine is aged for 18 months in small French oak casks and for 12 months in large oak casks and finally 18 months in bottle before release.
Giovanni said the 2010 vintage there was a rainy spring and the summer had moderate temperatures, which led to an overall tardy vintage. However, the grapes matured well, shedding the green/vegetal scents and developing red fruit and the delicate floral notes typical of Sardinia’s terroir. $64.99
2009 This was a particularly favorable vintage. There was rainfall during the winter and spring nurtured a healthy growth cycle. The summer was dry with good temperature variations that did not overstress the vines but contributed to the development of sugars, structure and aroma. The harvest was delayed due to some rainfall at the end of September but the delay resulted in a vintage generous in body and color. $NA
1999 there was a dry winter and a particularly hot summer with a slightly higher then average level of rainfall, which resulted in a well-balanced vintage with a hot harvest which contributed a noteworthy ripeness of fruit.$NA
1989 was a very favorable vintage resulting in well-developed aromatics balanced by great structure, including a well integrated, racy acidity. Grapes were harvested during the last days of September when phenolic ripeness was reached and grassy characters softened. $NA
The also make a dessert wine which I have not tasted since I was in Sardinia -Anghelu Ruju 1979. it is very good but at the moment it is not imported in the US.