Tasting the Wines of Sardinia’s Sella & Mosca
Sardinia is an island I know little about, so the opportunity to taste the wines of its premier producer, Sella & Mosca, was something I jumped at. Founded in 1899, Sella & Mosca is a big operation that sells 650,000 cases of wine a year, half of it on its home island of Sardinia. This includes grape varietals you’ll be well experienced with, and a few that you won’t get anywhere else. Thoughts on everything — shared over lunch at San Francisco’s Michael Mina with Sella & Mosca winemaker Beppe Caviola — follow.
Tasting Report: Wines of Sella & Mosca
2011 Teruzzi & Puthod Terre di tufi Toscana IGT / $15 / B+ / Sella’s sister winery in Tuscany (San Gimingiano) makes this pale, mild, yet buttery blend of 80% Vernaccia, 10% Chardonnay, 10% Sauvignon Blanc; lemon touches and well-integrated oak make for an enjoyable wine with a bit of caramel on the finish
2011 Sella & Mosca “La Cala” Vermentino di Sardegna DOC / $12 / A- / 100% Vermentino, unoaded; aromatic and floral, light on the palate with a touch of salt water on the easy finish
2011 Sella & Mosca “Terre Blanche” Alghero DOC Torbato / $21 / B+ / One of the only places Torbato is grown in the world is in this vineyard; it’s a white with a big nose, licorice notes, and a perfumed body; paired well with tuna
2007 Sella & Mosca “Terre Rare” Carignano del Sulcis Riserva DOC / $15 / B+ / Some anise notes on this 100% Carignano wine, with a body lush with blood orange, cranberry, and balsamic; semi-sweet on the back end
2008 Sella & Mosca Cannonau di Sardegna Riserva DOC / $16 / B / 100% Cannonau, Sardinia’s “national grape” of sorts; aged 2 years. More restraint here, with a Spanish feel, its tannins broken up by stone fruit and spice notes; a relatively simple, pleasant wine
2006 Sella & Mosca “Tanca Farra” Alghero DOC / $30 / B+ / 50% Cannonau, 50% Cabernet Sauvignon. The Cab adds complexity but also some sweetness, dialing back the tannin levels a bit here. Cabernet’s cassis notes are a good complement to the spicy Cannonau.
2004 Sella & Mosca Marchese di Villamarina Alghero DOC / $75 / A- / Sella’s flagship wine, a 100% Cabernet. First of three verticals tasted here, it’s a dense, gorgeous Cab, aging well and showing both wood and tannic notes
2005 Sella & Mosca Marchese di Villamarina Alghero DOC / $75 / B+ / Much more modest; less fruit and some coffee bean notes. Short finish, restrained. Development will be limited.
2006 Sella & Mosca Marchese di Villamarina Alghero DOC / $75 / A / Good balance, best of the lot. Ample tannin shows aging potential. Some menthol notes and lots of wood, but balanced by blueberry character. I figure it’ll start settling down by 2015.