Wednesday, May 2, 2012

What's in My Glass Wednesdays? Monica di Sardegna by Dolia

Here's a variety I bet most of you haven't heard too much about: Monica.  The Monica is an Italian-native red grape variety that grows primarily in Sardinia, Italy.  Sardinia is one of the inlet islands of Italy (see map below).  The Monica grape is known to make Rhone-style (or Syrah-like) wines, but in an Italian fashion.  I've heard that those labels that say "di Sardegna" indicate a drier style of wine compared to other label classifications.  [It actually says "dry" on the back of the label.]  It is often blended with Carignano, which we don't see too much of in the market either.  All in all, this was my first Monica wine experience, so I hope you enjoy it.

Map of Italy
(Photo from Google Images)

Dolia's Monica di Sardegna
(Photo by author)

Monica di Sardegna by Dolia

The D-2010 Scale 
2010 Monica di Sardegna by Dolia (Sardinia, Italy)
Appearance (10 points possible): Deep ruby color with good color density.  Some purplish edges, perhaps indicating it's youth.  Not overly clear. - 10 points
Aroma/Bouquet (20 points possible): Fresh red fruits with an emphasized floral component.  As the wine opens, hints of leather, earth, and smokiness shoot out from the glass.  The nose is very Rhone-like for me.  I could see how this could easily pass as a Syrah. - 17 points
Taste (10 points possible):  Medium-bodied with crisp acidity.  Some herbaceousness on the palate with complementing red fruits.  Some minor astringent that adds depth and complexity to the wine.  Hints of leather and smokiness in the finish, but is relatively pleasant. - 9 points
Balance (5 points possible): I think this wine comes together.  It's very Rhone-like in its style and quite pleasant.  No one attribute really pulls away from another, however, as time progressed, I did notice that the wine was a bit hot. - 4 points
Finish (5 points possible): Lengthy with hints of leather, red fruit, and a slight edge of smokiness. - 5 points
Quality of Package (5 points possible):  Heavy glass bottle with the DOC seal indicating it's quality.  Nice engraving at the bottom of the bottle.  - 5 points
Label Marketability (10 points possible):  The label is catchy but plain.  I have to admit that I didn't find this wine easily.  I found it through notes and recommendations on shelf at Total Wine. - 6 points
Other (5 points possible):  No big extras on this one. - 3 points
Total Points: 89 points
Overall Thought: This was an enjoyable wine.  I'm glad I purchased it and I will probably purchase it again some day.  I was impressed that the wine was marketed as a Rhone-style and it didn't disappointment.  Honest marketing is always a good thing.  :)
Food Pairings:  I could see this with lamb or even bar-b-q as the wine carries a nice bright red fruit characteristic.  I had this with pasta in a red sauce, and it went fairly well
Cost: $11
Splurge Factor (out of 4): 1... A good and unique buy for under $20.
Where to buy:  This wine was purchased at Total Wine.  Enjoy!!

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