2009 Santadi – Rocca Rubia – Carignano del Sulcis DOC Riserva

Good value from Sardinia

Cantina Santadi is a well-known winery from Sulcis, Italy. Sulcis refers to the southwestern part of Sardinia. The winery manufactures next to a variety of red and white wines also grappa. Santadi’s flagship wine is a called Terre Brune Carignano del Sulcis DOC Superiore but today I want to introduce to you Rocca Rubia. Now if you had a bottle of Terre Brune then you already know that you have to spend easily 40€ for a bottle. Rocca Rubia on the other hand is already available for just 17€, which is why I consider it a good value wine. Just like Terre Brune, Rocca Rubia is produced with 100% Carignano grapes. Carignano is a very old grape that originated in Aragon, Spain. It was later transplanted to Sardinia where it is said to grow best.

Rocca Rubia aged 12 months in small French oak barrels. The wine is classified as Carignano del Sulcis DOC Riserva.

Tasting notes Rocca Rubia

2009 Santadi - Rocca Rubbia - Carignano del Sulcis DOC SuperiorePrior to drinking the wine was decanted for around two hours

In the glass, Rocca Rubia had a deep cherry color – almost black. On the nose, there was a heavy aroma blackberries and blueberries, a bit of vanilla, some leather and hints of vanilla.

Alcohol by volume was label listed at 14%. After taking a sip, I noticed mellow tannins and tasted dark fruits. Rocca Rubia had a great structure. It was full-bodied and had a lingering finish.

4 / 5 stars      

Rocca Rubia pairs excellent with aged Pecorino Sardo. Santadi especially recommends to pair the wine with wild boar but of course most grilled red meat will pair well with this wine. I decided to go for rib-eye which turned out to be a good choice.

If you are looking for an affordable Carignano del Sulcis DOC then Rocca Rubia is highly recommended. It costs much less than the famous Terre Brune and almost tastes as good as it. I tried a small glass before decanting it and advice that you give the wine enough time to breathe.

By the way, the Gambero Rosso awarded the Rocca Rubia 2 glasses. Use Wine Searcher to locate a store near you that sells the Rocca Rubia.

About Santadi

Santadi is a cooperative of small producers. If there is one single winery that can claim to have made an entire region famous then it is probably Santadi. Ever since, Carignano del Sulcis has been associated with Santadi. Each year they produce around 1.700.000 bottles of wine. They cultivate over 600 hectares of land (around 1500 acres). Next to Terre Brune and Rocca Rubia I suggest you also give Santadi’s Latina a try. Latina is an excellent dessert wine from late harvest Nasco grapes.

What is your opinion on Carignano del Sulcis? Have you tried the Rocca Rubia? Let me know in the comment section.

21 comments on “2009 Santadi – Rocca Rubia – Carignano del Sulcis DOC Riserva”

  1. drinkforlife Reply

    Great post 🙂
    Good to see that you are back reviewing wines after your break! Santadi is one of my favorite producers from Sardinia. I pretty much had all of their wines before. You are right that Rocca Rubia is a good-value wine. Excellent quality-price ratio!

  2. wineking3 wineking3 Reply

    From Sardinia I only had a couple of Cannonau wines and a few Vermentino. I don’t think I tried any Carignano yet. I’ve red many times though that the Terre Brune is supposed to be outstanding. I might try the Rocca Rubia first though – it costs so much less and I’m not sure if I will like the wine or not.

    • vino in love Reply

      Wineking,
      If you never had a Carignano del Sulcis before then Rocca Rubia is a good wine to start with. Terre Brune costs much more and as a “starter” wine I would not recommend it. If you enjoy Rocca Rubia think about trying Terre Brune or similar wines.

  3. RiojaChianti RiojaChianti Reply

    Are you sure that Carignano is an autochthonous grape from Spain? I’ve never heard of a Spanish wine from Carignano grapes…

    I always like it when small farmers work together in a cooperative. It usually ensures great quality products. Had lots of good cheese and wine from cooperatives 🙂

    • vino in love Reply

      RiojaChianti,
      I am positive that Carignano originated in Spain. It’s not grown there anymore but it used to be. Today it’s mostly planted in Languedoc, France and on Sardinia, Italy.

  4. Marco van Puff Reply

    I think you can compare Santadi to Apple – both make excellent products but both are also overpriced. So I don’t agree with you on the good-value statement but Rocca Rubia is a good wine 😉

    • vino in love Reply

      Marco,
      I think you can’t put all wines from Santadi in one category. I agree that wines like Terre Brune or Latina are a bit overpriced but in my opinion Rocca Rubia has a good quality price ratio.

  5. foodwine88 Reply

    Ouch I just checked wine searcher and in the US the average price is $27! I’m so frustrated with these high US wine prices…

    • vino in love Reply

      Foodwine88,
      27$ converts to 21€ that’s not that bad but in Europe you don’t have to add tax to the price but I think in the US you do. There is nothing really you can do about these prices unless you consider buying no wine an option 😛

  6. winetalks winetalks Reply

    When visiting Italy last year I was lucky to try the Latina. I fell in love with that wine right away. Haven’t tried the Rocca Rubia yet but I will see if I can find it somewhere 🙂

    • vino in love Reply

      Frank,
      Latina is a good sweet wine but actually I prefer a good Recioto from Trabucchi or a Passito di Pantelleria from Donnafugata 😉

      • winetalks winetalks Reply

        Ok the Recioto del Valpolicella from Trabucchi is definitely outstanding but it’s hard to compare to Latina because they taste so different.

  7. theducksong Reply

    so i remember that you wrote about kreu from meloni a few months ago or so. i’m thinking about trying a sardinian wine in the next months. would you recommend me the kreu from meloni or the rocca rubia from santadi??

    • vino in love Reply

      Theducksong,
      This is a difficult question. The Kre’u from Meloni Vini is produced with Monica grapes and not with Carignano grapes. That makes them difficult to compare. Personally I like the Kreu a bit more though 😉

  8. hannah-theis hannah-theis Reply

    So because of Santadi the south-western part of Sardinia is known as Sulcis or do I misunderstand you? That would be crazy!
    I don’t think the Rocca Rubia is available in Canada. At least I’ve never seen it anywhere. It sounds like a wine I’d enjoy though. Blackberries and blueberries is right up my alley.

    • vino in love Reply

      Hannah,
      No of course Santadi did not name the region Sulcis. What I meant to say was that Santadi made the wine from Sulcis famous. I hope it’s more clear now 🙂

  9. Sean P. Reply

    Interesting review. So far I’ve never tried the Rocca Rubia. Sounds like a great wine though 🙂 I A
    always enjoy the smooth tannins.

    • vino in love Reply

      Sean,
      Thanks for commenting. Who doesn’t enjoy a smooth wine 😉
      If you give the Rocca Rubia a try then let me know if you like it.

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