Where it’s cultivated: Known locally with the synonym ‘Muristellu’, Bovale Sardo is certainly of native origin. It can be found in almost all the wine-producing areas of Sardinia but its best oenological expression is in the Mandrolisai, Nuoro area.
Some history: The term ‘Bovale’ is associated with two vines – Bovale Sardo and Spanish Bovale, also known as Bovale Grande which, unlike the former, is assumed to have arrived in Sardinia from the Iberian Peninsula around 1300.
The two Bovales are substantially different in variety, as some recent scientific acquisitions, supported by genetic analysis, confirm.
On the market: If combined with Monica and Cannonau grapes, Bovale Sardo becomes part of the Mandrolisai DOC and when blended with Bovale Grande, the Campidano di Terralba or Terralba DOC.
How to recognise it: A ruby colour, slight garnet red shades, hints of mature fruit or jam. In the mouth, soft tannins are noted and a pleasant alcoholic feeling.
Kitchen combinations: Ideal with dishes containing slow-cooked sauces, roast or cooked meat, cured meats and matured cheese.