Grape varieties: Retallada, Vernaccia, Nuragus, Semidano, Vermentino, Malvasia
Gianfranco Manca from the winery Panevino in Sardinia, is one of the most extraordinary vignerons, “Vignaioli”, that I have had the pleasure of acquainting with. His feel of terroir, place of wine expression and artistic freedom are thrilling.
Nevertheless, the two wines that we are featuring are from the vintage 2014. I had the pleasure of visiting Gianfranco for the first time in September of 2014 and it was a shocking visit because just a few weeks prior, hailstorms had devastated everything everywhere, and when we arrived in the beautiful beginning of Autumn in his part of Sardinia, we felt that we had entered a nuclear Winter: there were no leaves left on the vines, everything was grey, beaten and basically in that vintage Gianfranco had salvaged the maybe 5/10% of grapes, than have been left over, and had created, very unusually for him, only one white and one red, so both the white and the red were a blend of basically of anything and everything that somehow had slightly survived this nuclear war.
As a final note, the “Alvas” in 2014 for the first three of four years when I tasted it, was very unsettled, very nervous, and would very often after an hour, sometimes two hours after it had been uncorked, quickly fall into various degrees of brett, of savage stable notes, and now over the last year, year and half, something magical has changing, which more and more I’m seeing with our wonderful producers, that if you leave a wine that is uncomfortable, for a long time, that time will give it the possibility to become normal again.
So now “Alvas”, surprisingly, is beginning to lose some of the brett, volatility, and it is becoming quite exciting. But to be taken with a grain of salt.