Andy Mossack reviews three wines from Siddùra, one of the most highly rated wine producers in Italy.
Sardinians know a thing or two about ageing, after all, the island has more centenarians living there than almost anywhere else on Earth. Some might say it’s the climate, or the diet or the soil, but whatever it is, it’s an island where special things happen. And perhaps, the same thing can be said for its vines.
Set amongst the cork forests and crags of the Gallura region in north-west Sardinia, the Siddùra winery may be relatively young by Sardinian standards (only open since 2008) but there’s an abundance of local winemaking tradition to live up to. This has, no doubt, provided the impetus to become one of Italy’s most decorated producers. Every year since 2013 it has won Gold, Silver, Bronze and Platinum medals from Decanter, together with numerous others throughout Europe.
As I mentioned, ageing is all the rage on Sardinia and in Siddùra’s case, most of the wines are patiently aged in French oak barrels, lying there quietly waiting for that special Sardinian ageing magic to do its stuff.
With a reverential nod to Sardinia’s signature grapes – Cannonau and Vermentino – along with some Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese, Siddùra’s product range is an impressive collection of white, red, rose and dessert wines that offer remarkable quality at a very affordable price point.
With the help of Independent Wine, who has collaborated frequently on our travels around the fine wines of Italy (Alto Adige, Roero Arneis, Tuscan Valletta and Barolo) I sampled three award-winning wines from Siddùra; Erema Cannonau 2018, Nùali Passito Moscato 2016 and a Bèru 2015 Vermentino.
Siddùra Erema 2018 | Cannonau di Sardegna DOC
A Decanter Bronze medal winner, this is a strong contender for showing off Sardinia’s legendary black grape, the antioxidant-packed Cannonau, in all its glory. Handpicked and left to macerate for two weeks before fermentation, this dark ruby wine is a relative youngster compared to its more mature siblings, but there is no mistaking the mixed berry burst and the lovely, rounded tannins and long silky finish. I thought it was a very easy wine to enjoy on its own with some nuts or cheese, but equally delightful over a leisurely lunch or dinner. Sardinian food can be complex, especially the most famous dish – Su Porcheddu – suckling pig, and this Erema is bold enough to more than hold its own.
Siddùra Nùali Passito 2016 | Moscato di Sardegna DOC
Full disclosure here. I’m not, as a rule, that partial to dessert wines. I tend to find them far too sweet, and coming from someone who lacks a sweet tooth, it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise. Having said that, there are exceptions, and this dessert wine is most certainly one of them. This multi-award winning 100% Muscat grape wine is an absolute belter. Left late in the harvest to dry on the vine in the traditional appessimento style, brings intense flavours of toffee and fruit and gorgeous light golden hue.
The wine had just the right amount of acidity to cut away the sickly sweetness you can get with dessert wines, hence my unbridled joy. It was utterly delicious. I tried it at room temperature, but it was much better chilled. It paired beautifully with cheese as well as our very fine apple crumble! Not surprisingly, this wine has an ageing potential of 12 years in the bottle, but If I were you I would enjoy it as soon as you can.
Available in the UK from Independent Wine: Siddùra Nùali Passito 2016 | Moscato di Sardegna DOC £26.98 375ml half-bottle including free delivery to anywhere on the UK mainland and even free gift-wrapping if required.
Siddùra Bèru 2015 | Vermentino di Gallura DOCG
Initially, this wine caught me by surprise. Given Vermentino’s lofty status as one of Sardinia’s signature grapes, its pale gold hue and promise of an almondy fruity flavour, my mouth was expecting something to casually sip on a sunny afternoon with a bowl of nibbles.
I should have known better. On its own, it was far too complex for simple afternoon quaffing. But once I shared it with some food it burst into life, rewarding me with flavours of tropical fruits, vanilla, and hints of smoke. A completely individual taste for me, well worthy of its noble reputation and the love and care that went into creating it. I’m told its individualism comes from it being fermented in French oak barriques. Well, I’m grateful for that, because having experienced it full of life with pasta and later on with some cheese, I fell for it hook, line and sinker.