Silvio Carta Vernacchia "Valle del Tirso"
"The Carta family has been making (and storing) wine in the sleepy coastal town of Oristano for generations. The local grape is Vernaccia (though not the one from Gimignano). The vine was possibly introduced by the Phoenicians, or it was cultivated from wild vines of the Tirso Valley. The style is oxidative, but no Englishman created or discovered this wine (as happened in Marsala). And maybe that’s a shame, because these wines deserve to be better known outside their home. The wine is vinified dry, and the nose is chalky and intriguing. Multiple aged vintages are available. The register is something new for us, falling somewhere amid the mineral tones of Fino, the nuttiness of Marsala, and a bit of passito fruit. Rockin’ non-faux vintage label that they’ve been using all these years." -importer
Silvio Carta Vernaccia Valle del Tirso
Vigna / Vineyard
Denominazione / Appellation: Vernaccia Valle del Tirso IGT.
Nome / Name: Monte Palla, Su Zippiri, Civas.
Ettari / Hectares: 16 ha.
Quota / Altitude: 22 m / 72 ft.
Suoli / Type of soils: Sandy.
Esposizione / Exposure: West.
Vitigni / Varieties: Vernaccia.
Età delle viti / Vine age: 25 – 30 years old.
Densità / Planting Density: 4000 vines/hectare.
Allevamento / Trellis system: bush vines trained Guyot.
Data di vendemmia / Harvest date: Mid-September.
Metodo di vendemmia / Harvest technique: Hand harvested.
Metodo agricolo / Agricultural technique: Lotta integrata.
Resa / Yield: 8100 kilograms / hectare.
Cantina / Cellar
Lieviti / Yeasts: Native yeasts.
Fermentazione alcolica / Alcoholic fermentation: 45 days, 38-40°C.
Fermentazione malolattica / Malolactic fermentation: Yes.
Affinamento / Élevage: In 800-liter chestnut barrels filled about two-thirds of the way, to allow flor to develop. The barrels have an average age of 80-90 years, with some being as old as 150 years, and are made from chestnut trees that grow on the island.
Chiarificazione, filtrazione / Clarification, filtration: No.
Zolfo / Sulphur: 70 mg/L total, 15 mg/L free.
Altri prodotti aggiunti? / Other products added?: None.
Produzione annua / Annual production: 900 cases (6x750ml).
Gradazione alcolica / Alcoholic %: 16.5-17%.
Tappo e bottiglia / Closure and bottle: reusable silicone closure, 750 ml Rhenish bottle.
"An ancient and noble species, found in Sardinia since the times of the Phoenicians, who introduced it along the Oristano coast, the Sinis peninsula and the ancient staging port of Tharros. Cultivation has always been exclusively limited to the Province of Oristano, where it is chiefly grown using the alberello latino method. It flourishes in the low terrain of the Tirso and Rio Mannu flood-lands. The name of the vine, held to have been conferred by the Romans, derives from vernacula, which means a grape of the zone. This would explain the presence of the Vernacce species in other wine-producing zones of Italy, although they have nothing in common with Sardinian Vernaccia. This superb wine, the pride of Sardinian oenology, owes its unique characteristics to an oxidative maturation, of at least 3-4 years in barrels which are not completely filled. The presence of oxygen encourages the rise of yeast to the top of the must, forming characteristic flor film, which contributes to the special aroma, known in the ancient vernacular as Murrai. This particular refinement happens even today in the traditional wineries (cantine di Oristano) made of straw and mud with a typical terracotta roof. As long ago as the 19th century, Cettolini wrote of Vernaccia, “… It must be judged by the senses… its aroma is worthy; the delicacy of its completeness conquers us- that curious taste of bitter fruit, so gracious, so seductive, of which we never tire. Instead, we submit”.
This poetic description is well-suited to Vernaccia, a dry wine with a unique personality revealed to us through all its sensory expressions, including the warm amber shades of its colour, its complex, ethereal taste sensations of Madera, dried fruit, almond flowers and bitter honey which linger on the palate with extraordinary tenacity. Apart from DOC Vernaccia di Oristano, the first Denomination recognised in Sardinia in 1971, a young white wine known commercially as IGT Valle del Tirso is produced. " -winemaker