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On an island that has long been dominated by large cooperatives, Argiolas stands out as one of the original privately owned wine estates. Founded in 1938 by the legendary Antonio Argiolas, the estate and winery are headquartered in the Trexenta Hills, just north of the Sardinian capital, Cagliari. “Merì” is an experimental wine conceived by Argiolas’ technical director, Mariano Murru, along with the Italian Ministry of Research’s “Project Vinex.” Their goal was to identify the best harvesting techniques to preserve aromas and reduce the use of sulfur. Merì is harvested with a specially designed machine that chills the grapes with dry ice. Fermentation and aging is in stainless steel.
“Merì” (“sunset” in dialect) is a salty, herb-infused, express ferry ride to the heart of Sardinia. Shining a bright yellow-gold with flecks of green, it evokes the island’s fragrant scrub-brush in vivid detail, with scents of wild sage, fennel, and mint layered over ripe fruit notes of green mango, lemon-lime, green apple, wildflower honey, and sea spray. Medium-bodied and citrusy fresh, it’s a no-brainer for whole grilled branzino or spaghetti with Sardinian bottarga.
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