Saturday, August 13, 2011

"Nuragus" You Say?

If I asked you to describe what a "Nuragus" is, how would you reply?

Now that I've actually sent off my application for the Wine Century Club, I seem to keep running across bottles that I'd picked up prior to having reached my first century. Since the group has double, triple and quadruple memberships available as well, I suppose there's plenty of continued reason to keep looking for the new and, perhaps, unusual on this Wine Odyssey.

Hence, a new white to add to both The List on my blog and to the list of varietals I've tried for the WCC.

894. 2008 Argiolas - S'elegas (DOC Nuragus di Cagliari - Italy)

I don't actually remember where I came across this wine. I can't say that any of the bottle shops I patronize are exactly known for their collections of Sardinian wines - maybe an odd bottle of Cannonau - but especially not a varietal wine made of 100% Nuragus grapes. I mean what are the chances of anyone even knowing about Nuragus - let alone heading in to specifically buy a bottle?

The reference to the grape in Jancis Robinson's exhaustive Oxford Companion to Wine is even limited to one line in which she states the varietal is unique to Sardinia where it is used to make an "unremarkable" varietal white wine.

Also indigenous to Sardinia, it is the island's most prolific white varietal. It is apparently named after the ancient stone towers that are found in the area. It is considered to be a reliable grape to grow and is also called "pagadeppidus" which I read translates as "to pay debts" - much like the old "mortgage helper" tomato that you can find for sale at farmer's markets.

The wine is inevitably aged in stainless steel and is known for a nutty characteristic. I can't say that I noted that about the wine (not having read that little tidbit of info before we opened the bottle). I don't know that I'd go as far as calling it "unremarkable" - as Jancis Robinson notes - but it wasn't a wine that I'd run out and buy again. I think it goes for around $20-something and, for that amount of coin, the novelty isn't probably worth the second bottle.

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