Wine Review: 2010 Cantina Mesa – Buio Buio

Today’s wine review is about a red wine from the island of Sardinia, one of the best good-value wine regions in Italy. Buio Buio is a Carignano varietal produced by Cantina Mesa. 


2010 Cantina Mesa – Buio Buio – Isola dei Nuraghi IGT

Cantina Mesa owns 70 hectares of vineyards in the historical region Sulcis-Iglesiente, which is part of present day southwest Sardinia. The winery focuses on wines that best represent the terroir of the island and so it is only natural that Cannonau, Carignano and Vermentino are grown in their vineyards. The soils are naturally sandy and chalky and rocky. Cantina Mesa is currently owned by Gavino Sanno, an Italian author and renowned advertising professional. In 2006, Sanno left his advertising company to devote himself to his winery. With an annual production of 500.000 bottles, Cantina Mesa is one of Sardinia’s larger wineries and its portfolio includes four reds, two whites and one pink wine.


Carignano grapes. Picture by Dryke. License: CC BY-SA 3.0

Buio Buio is the winery’s first label. It is produced with 100% Carigiano grapes and after a 12-day long maceration process the wine aged for at least 10 months in barrique of second or third use. Buio Buio’s ‘little brother’ and Cantina Mesa’s second label is simply called Buio and just like Buio Buio it is a Carignao varietal with the difference being that Buio only ages for half a year in oak. Buio is Italian for dark.

Let’s get to the tasting notes for the 2010 Buio Buio, shall we?

The wine was opened (not decanted) roughly two and a half hours before drinking it. 14% was the label indicated alcohol by volume. Buio Buio’s appellation is Isola dei Nuraghi IGT – an appellation that covers the entire island of Sardinia. Isola dei Nuraghi is the locals’ name for Sardinia.

In the glass, Buio Buio had deep ruby red color with cherry red hues.

2010 Cantina Mesa - Buio Buio - Isola dei Nuraghi IGTThe nose was very rich and intense. Fruity but also slightly spicy with aromas of viola, marasca cherry liquor, smoke and cinnamon.

On the palate, dry, rich, warm and slightly crispy. Medium-bodied, complex and of good balance. Well structured wine with mellow tannins and notes of fresh red fruit. Long-lasting aftertaste.

4.5 / 5 stars      

According to Wine Searcher, the average price for a bottle of Buio Buio is €21. I bought the wine for a little less but this is still a very good quality-price ratio. And that’s what I love about Sardinia! The island offers so many good value wines and is unfortunately still by many highly under appreciated.

Let’s talk food and wine pairing: Buio Buio screams for any type of red meat. Everything from beef steak to boar and game. Wines like the Buio Buio can only be enjoyed to their full potential together with a good dinner.

That’s all for today. Cheers!


6 comments on “Wine Review: 2010 Cantina Mesa – Buio Buio”

  1. Pingback: Philippe Trebaul - Scoop.It

  2. Andy Andy Reply

    It has been a while sind I last saw you rating a wine that high! Most Carignan I tried was Spanish (Rioja) and rarely were these varietal wines. There is so much to explore!!

    • Julian Rossello Reply

      The Buio Buio fully deserves this high rating 🙂 You should consider trying this wine – Sardinian Carignano is pretty unique in the sense that it is rarely blended unlike in other regions where the grape serves mostly as a blending partner for grapes that lack depth and color.

  3. Luana Reply

    I know this Cantina Mesa!! recognised the packaging! Bought the first bottle in the enoteque corner of my supermarket so many years ago… because of its smart label!
    Absolutely agree with your opinion.

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