This is a great discovery today. What happens when the makers of Sassicaia, Tignanello and Solaiaia join forces with a legendary Sardianian producer? THEY MAKE A LEGENDARY WINE. Agricola Punica is the brainchild of Tenuta San Guido, the godfather of the Super Tuscan Giacomo Tachis and famed Sardinian producer Cantina di Santadi. This dream team has been making some of the wine world’s best-kept secrets since 2002. Oh and its under $40 and the lowest price in America. Come on now!
Punica's flagship wine is their Barrua, a wine of tremendous depth and impeccable balance made from indigenous Carignan, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot. This Sardinian ROCKETSHIP is a rich, black fruit-driven wine with velvety tannins that maintains a surprising amount of lightness. The amount of wine experience behind this project is insane. Tenuta San Guido needs no introduction as the creator of Sassicaia. Giacomo Tachis? He just happens to be credited with creating icons like Sassicaia, Tignanello, Solaia, San Leonardo, and Turriga. Cantina di Santadi was at the forefront of driving the focus to quality winemaking in Sardinia in the 1980s.
Agricola Punica 2016 Barrua $45
6 PACK PRICE $235 ($39/btl) - lowest in-country by mile - in stock, LIMITED
12-PACK PRICE $450
There is so much that is cool and interesting about this wine, its history, Carignan and Sardinia. Did you know Sardinia is a Blue Zone? A Blue Zone is a place where people live a REALLY REALLY long time. Sardinia is the first-ever Blue Zone identified in the world. Only 5 places in the world have been identified. There are 10 TIMES MORE PEOPLE OVER THE AGE OF 100 in Sardinia than in the United States. Simply put, they know how to live a long and healthy lifestyle. Burra is a part of that ethos. Also, all of the grapes are dry farmed.
If you love Le Difese, Guidalberto, Sassicaia, or just amazing full-bodied Italian wine and want to live a long time this is a must-have.
A Wine's Quality Is Determined In The Glass.
Shane Benson | Owner | New York Vintners
The cooperation between Giacomo Tachis and Tenuta San Guido of Bolgheri dates back to the early 70s, while the liaison with Cantina di Santadi started at the beginning of the 80s. It was during one of his first visits to the Sulcis area, Southwest Sardinia, that Tachis realized the great potential of this land for producing red wines. While a new chapter in the Sardinian winemaking was being written by Tachis, Cantina Santadi launched its first high quality bottled red wine, the Terre Brune, which traced the path for many other successful wines that came along, signed by the genius of Tachis; Barrua is the embodiment of this ethos!!
It was a couple of decades later, at the very beginning of this century that Tachis reached another goal, by making possible the match between Tuscany and Sardinia: Agripunica.
The mission of Agripunica was to produce the finest wines taking advantage of the local Sardinian varietal Carignano in blend with some other Bordeaux wines, of which Tachis was a master winemaker.
With these ideas in mind, Tachis in 2002 made the first red for Agripunica, Barrua, followed three years later by the second label Montessu.
The two “jewels” wisely blended were soon recognized as excellent products, gaining several awards worldwide since the beginning. Once more, Giacomo Tachis have had the right vision and his wines, with a distinguished style and identity, will always tell a story anytime poured and savored in the glass!
THE FATHER OF THE SUPER TUSCAN
Giacomo Tachis became world-famous as Antinori’s head oenologist from 1961 to 1999 and for his contribution to the creation of Sassicaia, a Cabernet Sauvignon/Cabernet Franc blend which, from its first real commercial offering in 1971, was made by him. Although Sassicaia was the brainchild of Marchese Mario Incisa della Rocchetta, the father of the current owner Nicolò, it was Tachis who modernised the wine and introduced stainless steel for its fermentation. Both Mario and he agreed on making a Bordeaux-style wine aged in barrique, but Tachis’s regular trips to Bordeaux and his encounters with the hugely influential Bordeaux oenologist Émile Peynaud gave him the knowledge to fine-tune the approach and improve the wine. Subsequently Sassicaia became Italy’s most famous wine.
In Sassicaia’s wake, Tachis was also instrumental in the creation of Antinori’s Tignanello and Solaia. This trio, together with Ornellaia, triggered the trend for what were dubbed Supertuscans, high-quality wines frequently based on French varieties with or without Sangiovese, aged in barrique and produced in Tuscany, a region which until then had not been known for outstanding quality.
Tachis’s interest was not confined to Tuscany, however. He also acted as a consultant for Sardinian producers Argiolas and Santadi. The latter, a ‘mere’ co-op, saw its quality soar while its Terre Brune, made from the local Carignano variety and aged in new French barriques, became an instant success.
Tachis became so famous that his mere association with a producer promised immediate commercial success. While the fascination for international varieties and French oak has slowly started to wane in Italy, Tachis’s influence has gone much further than this and has put a firm stamp on Italy’s recent vinous history.
THE VINEYARDS at AGRICOLA PUNICA
In 2002, Agripunica purchased a 370 acres estate divided betewwn two sites: Barrua and Narcao, located in the soutwest region of Sardinia, in the area known as Basso Sulcis. Even though the vineyards are situated in the DOC Carignano Del Sulcis area, the wine falls under the I.G.T. Appelation of Isola dei Nuraghi, a name referencing the ancient stone buildings built by the Nuragic civilization which shaped the island’s development from the Neolithic age until 238 B.C. when Sardinia was brought under the Roman Empire.
Agripunica vineyards lie inland from the coast and are planted to 65 hectares counter espalier trained vines, comprising Carignano, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Syrah for the reds, while further 5 hecatares are currently planted to Vermentino and Chardonnay white grapes, for an overall of 70 hecatares.
CARIGNANO THRIVES IN SARDINIA!
The Southwest corner of Sardinia is a near perfect environment for the hot climate traits of the Carignano vine. Winters are mild and summers are hot and dry, with temperatures sometimes stoked by the fierce Scirocco African winds blowing across the Sardinian Sea, among the hottest in Italy. An extraordinary average of seven hours of sunlight daily anable the fruit to reach a level of ripeness such that polymerization of the tannins begins within the berry while it is still on the vine. “It is the amount of light that makes this the perfect region of Carignano based wines! – The sun provides heat and light which causes grapes to mature very well. The Cabernet and Merlot mature much faster than they would in Bordeaux for example; on top of that, the wonderful influence from the sea regulates the extreme summer heat and stabilizes the climate”, recounts Giacomo Tachis.
There are not certitudes about its introduction in the Sardinian Sulcis area, but thinking to the Phoenicians is reasonable. In the remote past this vine was not supervise, then with the Appellation of Origin coming as well as the regulation of the Appellation Controlée, “discipline” of production, the Carignano suffered even some “humiliations”; in fact it was punished with a sort of “marquee” culture to obtained disproportionate quantities not suitable for the qualitative issuing.
The Carignano quality in the Sulcis is excellent not only for the colour, for structure and alcoholic richness of the obtained wine, but also for the tenderness of its extrative components: from the tannic ones to the acid titrant patrimony which reveals itself temperate and elegant going from the aromatic to the spicey, from the glycerine moods to all the rest.
SARDINIA IS A BLUE ZONE - HOME TO THE LONGEST LIVING MEN
A cluster of villages in a kidney-shaped region on this island make up the first Blue Zone region ever identified. In 2004, the Blue Zone research team set off to investigate a rare genetic quirk carried by its inhabitants. The M26 marker is linked to exceptional longevity, and due to geographic isolation, the genes of the residents in this area of Sardinia have remained mostly undiluted. The result: nearly 10 times more centenarians per capita than the U.S.
But even more importantly, residents of this area are also culturally isolated, and they have kept to a very traditional, healthy lifestyle. Sardinians still hunt, fish and harvest the food they eat. They remain close with friends and family throughout their lives. They laugh and drink wine together.