Senes Argiolas: a tribute to long-lived Sardinian vitality
In my modest opinion, the longest-lived and most enlightened wineries, considered ambassadors of the best of Italy in the world, are those that combine manically sought-after wine quality with large-scale cultural projects. Wine is more. Like this Senes, the first Cannonau Riserva by the Argiolas family, presented at the Circolo Marras, a kind of “secret garden” in Milan. Senes debuts together with a collection of photos by Daniela Zedda, the deep prose of Marcello Fois and the journalistic writing of Manuela Arca. The wine is in the bottle. The other things are in a valuable volume, portraying eleven Sardinian centenarians (between 100 and 111 years of age), in lively poses, with a sense of strength and vitality that is a far cry from the decadent accents a work of this kind could have lingered on. If you happen to be passing near Milan, I recommend a visit to the Circolo Marras, in via Cola di Rienzo 8: you can admire these touching large-scale photos until 28th April.
Homage to the founder Antonio Argiolas
And then, the wine. It is important for the Argiolas family, because it is no coincidence that the project blossomed on an island that numbers 400 centenarians; but it is a homage to Antonio Argiolas, the head of the family and founder, as well as the soul of the winery for the whole of the twentieth century, living to “kent’annos” (a hundred years), until 102 to be precise. It would have been wrong to link his memory to any old wine. The winemaker Mariano Murru describes it: “Cannonau is undoubtedly the Sardinian wine par excellence, perhaps the one that best identifies the history, traditions and character of the Sardinians. It has a bright ruby-red colour, it is intense and spicy like the Mediterranean scrub. Warm and welcoming like the hospitality of its inhabitants, strong and proud, but also reserved and austere like the character of the Sardinians. Long and lingering like the memory when you leave this enchanted island, that is unlike anywhere else in the world.”
Senes Argiolas. Wisdom and complexity
Senes comes from Cannonau vineyards on the hills of Siurgus Donigala, in the estates of Sisini, in the heart of Trexenta, thirty kilometres north of Cagliari. Here the soils are rich in calcareous marl, exposed to the mistral winds that protect the grapes from too much heat, subject to high temperature swings between day and night, giving an elegant, fine fruit that expresses brilliant aromas. The soil conditions and the maturity of the vines ensure a very limited production per plant, a condition that makes the grapes express the best character of the variety to offer a very high-quality product. Senes ferments in steel vats to maintain the precision of the fruit, then it ages in cement with malolactic fermentation, where it finds its balance, then finally it ages in small wooden casks to reach the wisdom and complexity that belongs to a great Senes.
Senes gift box price: 55 euros
Price per bottle of Cannonau Riserva Senes: 20 euros
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