Sometimes it's fun to grab a bottle of wine about which you know absolutely nothing ahead of time. Thus I selected the 2002 Argiolas Perdera from the Italian island of Sardinia (Sardegna). The label also says Isola dei Nuraghi, which means "island of the 4,000 year old cone-shaped stone towers". The Argiolas family specializes in grapes native to the island, so his wine is made of some unique grapes: 90% Monica, 5% Carignano (related to French Carignane), and 5% Bovale Sardo (also known as Muristello, Bovale Piccolo, or Bovaleddu--it almost went extinct, but this winery saved it).
Side note about Sardinia: the local dialect is referred to as Sardo, but there are in fact four distinct dialects on this one island, and my Italian professor told me not to even bother trying to understand any of them unless you've lived there from birth. That one grape name Bovaleddu is a classic example. Another is calamaredusu, which is Sardo for calamari or squid. The tiny dialects of Europe provide a fascinating field of study, and I'm particularly enamored of Catalan, which is a delightful mashup of French, Italian, and Spanish.
Obscure grapes? Ancient history? Linguistics? A winery dedicated to local native varietals? Let's pop this open!
On first pour it's brash and harsh, but a half hour of decanting allows it to mellow out. It's got a mild prune and strawberry aroma. The berry aspect continues on the palate, where you've got strong tannins and and a long finish with hints of coffee and chocolate. I enjoyed it along with some cold roast beef and fennel.