Seems fitting to review this wine on the same day its winemaker Mick O’Connell is coming over from Dublin, Ireland, to launch it to 150 private clients in the heart of London. What started out as a hobby project in Sardinia (where is wife is from) during his Master of Wine studies, has grown steadily into a proper business with rented premises and leased vineyards.
Production was basically doubled from 360 bottles for the maiden 2015 release to over 600 bottles for the 2016 vintage. Needless to say, lessons were learnt and Mick’s experience augmented ever so slightly to ensure that the follow up effort is even more impressive than the first. This is a wonderful, “smashable” style of wine as wine journalist Jamie Goode called the 2015, that has silent aspirations, but in essence, is an honest, vibrant, refreshing wine that goes wonderfully with almost any Mediterranean food. At £24.95, this is one little cult wine you won’t want to miss out on.
Garnacha not Guerra 2016, Vino Rosso, Sardinia, 13 Abv.
This follow up vintage to the maiden 2015 Garnacha not Guerra is a high achiever, leaping out the starting blocks with an exotic perfumed bouquet of cherry blossom, crushed black pepper corns, strawberry confit, cranberry coulis and red cherry sweets. On the periphery there are notes of iron, blood, fresh bresaola and cured meats mingling with spicy red bramble berry fruit nuances. The palate is showy and confident with an upfront exotic medley of red fruits that gives one a sense that this Garnacha is altogether more serious, mineral, spicy and structured than its predecessor. Texturally however, the wine remains very focused and deliciously accessible showing delicate dry lacy tannins, harmonious fresh acids and an intriguing pithy, peppery cherry skin grip on the finish. Drink this cracker jack wine now, preferably with food, and over the next 3 to 5+ years.
(93/100 Greg Sherwood MW)
Mick O’Connell MW, based between Dublin and Sardinia.