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Cantina Mesa `Buio Buio` Isola dei Nuraghi



  • Silver - Decanter World Wine Awards 2014

Cantina Mesa

This is one of the most exciting wineries to come out of Sardinia in two decades...

It is the brainchild of Gavino Sanna, a Sardinian who has lived in Milan for the past 50 years, where he built up one of Italy’s most successful advertising agencies. On a whim, he decided to sell the agency and seek new challenges. One of these challenges was the creation of a winery in Sulcis in southwestern Sardinia. As might be expected from someone with Sanna’s background, the labels are striking. He has also ensured that the contents are equally striking. Stefano Cova, a young winemaker from Trentino, took over with the 2008 vintage, improving on an already high level of quality.

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The grapes are grown in the Sulcis area on the south-western tip of Sardinia. The climate here is Mediterranean with low rainfall that usually falls almost entirely in autumn and winter. It is characterised by frequent north-westerly winds, high temperatures in spring and summer, a mild autumn and winters which vary from dry and cold through to relatively mild. Soils are naturally sandy and chalky-clay, sub-alkaline, medium textured with a rocky, schistous character.  Moderate nutrient levels and good levels of minerals add a distinctive character to the resulting wines. The vines are espalier trained and spur-cordon pruned with yields around 35 hectolitres per hectare.

Vintage information

2011 was an unusual growing season, characterised by anomalous temperatures at the start and end, which was beneficial for the grape crop. High temperatures and fine weather conditions in January and February led to expectations of an early budbreak. Rainfall increased during spring until the first half of May. Temperatures then quickly rose in the first part of summer, followed by further unusual weather in July, with unseasonably low average and minimum temperatures. Vine development was fortunately not affected. The unusual conditions continued up to mid-August, which saw the late arrival of moist heat from Africa. The rise in temperatures, exceeding 35°C, sped up the ripening process, so much so that the Carignano in Sulcis had to be picked early, in the first ten days of September.


The grapes were hand-picked then vinified with maceration on the skins at 26-28°C for 10-12 days. Upon completion of malolactic fermentation, the wine spent a minimum of 10 months in second and third use barriques, followed by at least four months in bottle.

Tasting Notes

Deep ruby red colour. The nose offers a complex mix of balsamic notes of red berry fruit and blossoms, together with hints of spices and oak. The palate is rich and full, revealing excellent balance with an appealingly silky texture. Long-lingering finish.

Vintage information

Vintage 2011
Grape varieties 100% Carignano/Carignan
Region Sardegna
Winemaker Stefano Cova
Alcohol (ABV) 14%
Acidity 5.1g/l
Residual Sugar 0.8g/l
Wine pH 3.7