Mamuthone, a wine “unmasked”
Mamoiada (Mamojà in the local dialect) is in the heart of Barbagia and in recent years it has carved an important place for itself in the varied and complicated world of Cannonau di Sardegna. The zone has just over 300 hectares of vineyards, all planted with Cannonau and almost all alberello-trained, which sit an average of 720m above sea level where the soil is mostly sandy, ideal for the variety. The estate of Giuseppe Sedilesu is in this unique and breathtaking setting of natural beauty, 17 hectares of vineyards (all alberello-trained) with an additional eight set to be planted next year, with a production of around 110,000 bottles a year.
His large family has always been involved with agriculture but only in 2002 did they begin to bottle their own wine and it met with an immediate and merited success. Francesco, Salvatore and Antonietta, the patriarch’s offspring, have in just over a decade turned the estate into a leading producer on the island and beyond and this thanks to the increasing personality of their wines achieved through technical skill and territorial purity.
The Cannonau of Mamoiada has always been famous for its bold structure and high alcoholic content, often over the top, and a distinct capacity to over-ripen. The Sedilesu family appears to have been able to ‘tame’ these characteristics and exalt them adding a touch of elegance and freshness that this extraordinary territory had not yet been able to express. Producers here have always been ‘natural’ by vocation because of the ideal pedoclimatic conditions and now the Sedilescu has begun to convert to biodynamic methods and to convince other small producers in the area to do the same. This desire to work to improve the whole area of Mamoiada is a characteristic of this family and has resulted in a number of small producers sending high quality wines to the market.
Mamuthone, named after the symbolic figure of Mamoiada, is their chief wine in regard to number of bottles produced (70,000 in 2014) and because it was the first one they bottled, only 3,000 bottles in 2000 by a group of eight winemaker friends headed by Francesco Sedilesu in the winery of Josto Puddu in Oristano. Staring with vintage 2006, Mamuthone has been aged in cement vats and in part in large barrels.
The following is the first-ever complete vertical tasting of this wine beginning with the first year of production, 2015, and ending with vintage 2015, which is still in the barrel. The only years missing is the 2010, because the wine was not made that year, and 2002, because none of the few bottles made remain for tasting. Please note that the wine’s price is extremely reasonable, retailing at around 13 euros, for a product of such quality and complexity.