Taste the ancient flavors of Cannonau Wine
on the island of Sardinia.
Cannonau is a native grape in Sardinia. Recent science discovers evidence of a 3,000 year history of Cannonau cultivation. A secret cru territory of Cannonau has been resurrected from prehistory by the Atha Ruja winery in Dorgali. Ancient practices combined with modern techniques would have satisfied the most demanding mythologic gods of the prehistoric Nuragic Civilization.
Why You’ll Love Atha Ruja Winery
The vinyeards of Atha Ruja are located in the Oddoene Valley near the province of Nuoro. "Oddoene Valley" means the "Valley of God" in a Sardinian dialect. This valley is one of the most biologically fertile territories on the island, hence the name. A beautiful landscape, surrounded by mountains and close to the sea. Earth, Wind, Fire, and Water coalesce into the perfect conditions for a masterful construction of Cannonau wines with exotic fruits and aromas that mirror the territory. The winery practices manual farming, alberello vine construction, and low yields to bring you the wine masterpieces of Sardinia. Total bottle production: 25,000 annual.
Atha Ruja Cannonau di Sardegna
It's with this small production Cannonau from Atha Ruja, that one realizes what's been missing in life. This cru of Cannonau is like a Michelangelo scuplture: detailed, evocative, and timeless. The grapes are hand-selected and hand-harvested at the perfect moment of maturity. Aged in French barrique for 12 months and laid down in bottles for 6 months for further refinement. Remarkable freshness and elegant tannicity follow the warm impact inside the mouth mixing together and producing a soft, velvety combination. Fully detailed body warmly embraces the palate and mature mirto berry notes express the native fruits of the territory. 7,000 bottles annual production.
Atha Ruja "Vigna Sorella" Cannonau di Sardegna
Cannonau is a blue zone wine found on the island of Sardinia in Italy. The “blue zones” are known for their large centenarian populations. The “Vigna Sorella” Cannonau from Sardinia is a delicious ensemble of layers: vibrant red fruits, mediterranean herbs, and spices. Lightly seasoned with cinnamon notes and hot spices to inebriate your senses. A refined aging process that requires steel and oak, shows off the wine as both fresh and age-worthy. Designed to be an accessible Cannonau with artisanal craftsmanship, the wine is compatible with hors d'oeuvres that include aged cheeses or fine dinners with fine cuts of meat. Handcrafted in Sardinia at 7,000 bottles annually.
Atha Ruja "D'Orvene" Vermentino di Sardegna
If you want to feel like you're on vacation, this white wine will take you there. D’orvene means “veins of gold” in Sardinian referring to the color of the wine. Aromatic with apple, pear, and citrus notes. Full bodied with creamy textures, the dense minerality reveals itself like seashells after a crashing wave. Soft, smooth, with a unique character. It pairs beautifully with shellfish, grilled fish, and fresh vegetables. 3,000 bottles produced annually.
Atha Ruja "Kuentu" Cannonau di Sardegna Riserva
The old craft trades like the blacksmith, the tailor, and the butcher have become a lost art in the modern world. People have gotten used to the mediocre. Today everything is mass-produced. But in tiny pockets of the old world, exist artisans that resist the generic. Atha Ruja is a craft winery on the island of Sardinia in Italy. They are the inheritors of an ancient craft of winemaking. "Kuentu" is the riserve, made with 100% Cannonau grapes from 40-year-old vines, an optimum age for the production of age-worthy Cannonau. The wine is made with only the finest quality grapes that were hand-selected during the harvest. The wine is aged in French oak for 2 years before its release and may age in your wine cellar for at least 10 years. The wine culture in Sardinia might be the oldest in the Mediterranean as scientists discovered pre-historic Cannonau seeds. Taste the essence of a lost world and the finesse of a finely crafted wine. A wine of this caliber can only be made in small quantities: 3,000 bottles produced annually.
Atha Ruja Muristellu Grand Cru
The Archaeologist's Wine.
Long-rumored among wine intellectuals that the Bovale grape varietal was somehow imported by the Spanish Conquest of Sardinia in the 1700’s. For years, Bovale was thought to be unworthy of fine wine. The local Sardinian people, “Sardi” in Italian, blamed the supposed lack of quality on the fact that the varietal was not native in origin. Many farmers gave up on it and planted more Cannonau.
But some grape growers refused to give it up. The ones that didn’t referred to the varietal as “Muristellu” in the historic Sardinian language.
Today, Bovale or Muristellu wines are some of the most expensive and respected wines in Sardinia.
Bovale turns out to be an ancient varietal that can be traced back to antiquity. It’s unlikely the varietal came from Spain in the 18th Century because it was already in Sardinia during the Nuragic Civilization. Cannonau was thought to have been a Spanish import until 3,000-year-old grape seeds were discovered in Sardinia back in 2015. The DNA revealed a wild version of Cannonau. So Cannonau was on the island long before the Spaniards arrived. This discovery also made the wine world see that Sardinia might be the oldest wine culture in the Mediterranean. In the future Bovale will follow this pattern.
The symbol on the bottle is pre-historic. It's the Mother Goddess of the Nuragic Civilization. The Nuragic people lived in Sardinia between 3,000-8,000 years ago. This symbol can still be seen chiseled into old stones all over the island. The Mother Goddess was the god of fertility.
Sort of an archaeologist approach, local farmers in Sardinia took a second look at Bovale. Like many ancient artifacts, their mysteries unfold with time. What once was considered to be a valueless artifact sometimes turns priceless upon rediscovery.
Winemakers studied Bovale’s characteristics in the vineyard and the wine. They experimented with ancient vine training systems and yield control. The results are gearing up Bovale to compete in the arena of fine wine.
No example on the entire Sardinian island can surpass the brilliant excavation by the Atha Ruja winery in Dorgali. They took native Bovale scions from an abandoned, centuries-old vineyard and grafted them on rootstock at the estate vineyards. This unique clone naturally produces extremely low yields.
It is the low yield production that creates a superior version of Bovale, with breadth and depth, that can age in your cellar for over a decade. Not only does the wine reach a threshold of quality that few can obtain, the discovery of Bovale’s longevity in the cellar proves that a once-thought valueless wine now has intrinsic value.
Signaling to antiquity, Muristellu by the Atha Ruja winery is produced at a scarce level of 1,333 bottles per annum. Harvested by the most careful hands, and aged in oak for 3 years followed by 1 year of bottle rest before release. For the artifact-inclined wine aficionado, this is a rare piece worth seeking. Decanting for 2 hours minimum and slow sipping is recommended.
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