Based on my prior experience with the Perdera, I decided to try the 2002 Argiolas Costera from Sardinia. 92% Cannonau (more on that later), with the remainder comprised of Carignano and Bovale Sardo. Served up with a little ribeye, some roast sweet potatoes, and assorted vegetables.
Even though they're from the same year, I felt the Perdera ($15) aged a little better than the Costera ($20). This one is leaning towards oxidation, with a mild sherry aroma. Still some hints of prune and cherry on the nose, and the flavor is a little tart, medium tannins, with elements of blackberry and leather. It's not spoiled, but it's probably near the end of its aging potential.
Back to the Cannonau. Some say it's the exact same thing as Grenache, some say it's a derivative or clone, others say that it's the father of Grenache. The Italians believe that Cannonau is Grenache, originated in Sardinia and that it was exported to Spain during a period of Spanish rule of the island (1400s). The Spanish say they brought it over during the same time period. Others say that Cannonau was brought there by Jesuits and is a derivative of Alicante. And let's complicate matters by pointing out that the island has also been ruled over the past millennia by the Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Vandals, Byzantines, plus a bunch of little Spanish and Italian city-states, kingdoms, and principalities. I have no solid data on the origin of the grape, and am not going to say a word lest this blog get hit with EU sanctions and some Sardo winemaker swears a blood oath against me and my descendants. Let me state again, though, that one of the things I love about wine is that it's truly history in a glass.