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Flint, Rubber, Toaster Oven: 2004 Santadi Shardana

We regularly open wines here at the shop for purposes of educating customers as well as ourselves. The other night we took advantage of trying a very cool red wine from the island of Sardinia, the 2004 Santadi Shardana Valli di Porto Pino. It would have been easy to taste Cannonau, which is probably the most famous red varietal from Sardinia, but the island offers so much more. This particular wine is made mostly from Carignano, with a little Shiraz (85%, 15%, respectively). This is one of those “funky” wines that shows characteristics of things not normally thought of when describing wine. Although smooth with some silky tannins, this wine has a very distinct flinty quality that flirts with burnt rubber and what one staff member described: “It’s like that scent, when you use a toaster oven but it hasn’t been cleaned in a while…and it has all the crusted stuff on the bottom that burns.” Sound scary? Think again. The Carignano vines are, on average, about 100 years of age and provide intense fruit. Dense, darker fruit flavors are coupled with a vibrant minerality. The wine is meant to drink right now; it’s excellent to pair with a rich stinky cheese.  So if you want something unique, fun and well priced, pick up a bottle and tell us what you think. -Joseph Sangiovanni

The 2004 Santadi Shardana Valli di Porto Pino currently sells for $18.99, on sale.