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Argiolas Vermentino 1998 Scents of the awakening land; spring flowers and the good earth, dew glistening meadows, infused with the waft of wild flowers and a taste of honey, greet the imbiber. Smooth, very easy to drink flavors are dominated by the savor of eternal spring. Whether you refer to this wine as ethereal, or simply a wine that possesses a certain "je ne sais quoi", as the French like to say, it has a tendency to disappear in a hurry. Hints of citrus, mainly lime and tangerine, complement the softer tones in the wine and provide structure, so that this lovely Vermentino finishes crisp and dry. The Argiolas family has, without a doubt, produced a most refreshing and interesting glass of wine from one of the world’s least known premium white varietals. In the hands of the Argiolas family, Vermentino is a veritable jewel. Referred to as Rolle in the south of France, Vermentino deserves to be better known in the United States. Perhaps, its time has finally come? Given the superior quantity, it is no wonder critics point to the Argiolas Vermentino as the benchmark by which all other Vermentinos in Sardinia are measured.
Light, heart healthy fare strikes us as the natural choice for the 1998 Argiolas Vermentino. Crostini, hors d’oeuvres, salads, seafood and chicken all make solid choices to accompany this harmonious Vermentino. Yet, we implore you to be a bit more daring. Certainly, one of our very favorite dishes with the Argiolas Vermentino is an authentic Salade Nicoise, the quintessential Mediterranean salad, the regional "surf & turf". A combination of tasty greens, potatoes, black olives, hard-boiled eggs and fresh tuna bring out all the flavor in the wine, Bouillabaisse, Cioppino, and other lively fish soups and stews also provide marvelous complements to this versatile Vermentino. With such spicy fare, one would expect that the wine would be totally overwhelmed, when in fact the fresh, tangy qualities of Vermentino refresh the palate and enliven the savory components of the dish. In Italy, this seems to be the preferred modus operandi, but whether you prefer a complement or contrast with your meal, we believe you will enjoy this wine as much as we do.
Argiolas Excellence and Inspiration from a Land That Time Nearly Forgot and the Wine Public had all but Forsaken Leaving the Sardinian capitol, Cagliari, Highway 387 carries the traveler into the wild Mediterranean hinterland along a picturesque route. One travels about 20 kilometers until the road reaches the territory of Serdiana (the ancient name was probably Xerdiavi, meaning an area rich in cedars, the essence of which perfumed the religious rites of the Greek monks who helped colonize Sardinia). Here the excellent climatic conditions, the richness of the soil and the abundant water supply has made this region exceptionally suitable for human habitation, as well as the cultivation of the vine since prehistoric times. Just three kilometers southwest of the village of Serdiana, surrounded by vineyards and olive groves, one comes upon the ancient church of Santa Maria de Sibiola, constructed in the first half of the XII century by the Victorine Monks of Marseilles. This was already a very prosperous agricultural center in the XII century under the active guidance of Benedictine monks. Although no longer a religious holding, the locals still commemorate their heritage with a religious celebration every September 8th. It is here that Argiolas was founded some sixty years ago by Antonio Argiolas. Antonio Argiolas dedicated the remainder of his life to restoring this beautiful country to the cultivation of the vine and the tending of olive groves. Much of this land lay fallow for years since its 12th century zenith, until Argiolas reclaimed it. It is in Serdiana that he planted his first plot of land, "Su Paulli Mannu", as a vineyard and olive grove, and it is in the tradition of pioneering monks that Antonio Argiolas gave his life to his passion. He devoted his life to the ancient traditions of Mediterranean civilization: the cultivation of the vine and the tending of olives, endeavors praised by the venerable Plinius, Columella and Horace, as well as the Benedictine monks. From the very first planting, the Argiolas vineyards have been virtual gardens, prime examples of professional expertise in the culture and nurture of the vine, with the exclusive aim of guaranteeing the quality of their product. In addition to the ancient practices of their ancestors, the Argiolas winery has added the latest modern equipment for winemaking, storage and maturing wine in oak barrels. Under the guidance of Antonio’s two equally passionate and dedicated sons, Franco and Guiseppe, the Argiolas winery is a showpiece and inspiration in a land that time nearly forgot, and the wine public has all but forsaken.
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