1991 Attilio Contini Vernaccia di Oristano Riserva 375ml

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  • 94 W&S Sherry Style Fortified Wine
  • Aged 20 Years in Barrel
  • First Wine in Sardini with Official DO
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About the Wine

Contini has been the benchmark for high-quality fortified Vernaccia in the Mediterranean island of Sardinia. This sherry-like fortified wine spends 20 years in barrel and is one of the most complex and age-worthy Vernaccia's being produced. Contini has been recognized around the globe for consistency in producing one of Italy's greatest fortified wines. Sherry, Maderia, and fortified wine lovers alike it's time to take your palate to new heights.

For 120 years, the Contini estate has been inspired by a single guiding principle, Vernaccia di OristanoThe long history of the Contini estate began in 1898, thanks to Salvatore Contini and his flair for business. At the time, the most widely produced wine was Vernaccia and Salvatore devoted his life and work to improving and promoting it. His efforts paid off: Salvatore was awarded the gold medal at the International Exhibition of Milan in 1912 for his Vernaccia di Oristano and in 1971 it was the first wine in Sardinia to be granted the official controlled designation of origin.

Over the years, Vernaccia has been joined by other fine wines: the age-old Nieddera variety, traditional Vermentino and Cannonau wines, successful experiments like Karmis, the Attilio range, and the organic wine Mamaioa. Today the company produces a complete selection of wines that are sold throughout Italy and abroad. It is continuously evolving, introducing new winemaking techniques and ideas.

Aging: Matured in traditional oak and chestnut wood caratelli barrels for at least 20 years. The barrels are not topped up to allow the characteristic layer of Flor yeast to form and give the wine the distinctive aromas and flavors of Vernaccia di Oristano. 

Tasting Notes: Fortified Wine. 100% Vernaccia. This is a bright, deep amber-colored wine Gloriously heady aromas of almond flowers and toasted nut introduce this wine. Whiffs of dried apricot and honey mark the briny close. It is firm and voluminous on the palate with a rounded mouthfeel and warm character. Its salty fresh flavors hold incredibly steady on the finish giving great balance to the wine. 


The Contini family has been making wine in Sardinia’s southwestern corner since 1898, farming indigenous varieties such as Cannonau, Vermentino, Nieddera, and Caddiu. Their Vernaccia di Oristano wines are their most distinctive, showing a similarity in flavor and style to wines from Spain’s Jerez. The Vernaccia grapes hang on the vines until early October, accumulating rich sugars that generate ample alcohol without fortification. After fermenting to dryness, the wine ages in partially filled chestnut casks in a warm and dry room, where a thin veil of yeasts develops on the wine’s surface and protects it from the air. Contini keeps the riserva in cask for as long as 20 years, far beyond the required four years of aging. As the wine rests under the veil of yeasts, it picks up a light amber color and flavors of marzipan, toasted almonds, toffee, espresso, orange rind, and celery seed. The layers of flavor unfold gradually, creating a complex and rich sensation that’s washed by a seashore scent of brininess on the fully dry finish. Skip the dessert and pair this fascinating wine with hard cheeses and toasted nuts. ~94 Wine & Spirits

Bright pale amber-gold. Lovely lift to the aromas of orange peel, ginger, brown sugar, and grilled hazelnut. Super concentrated and glyceral but with terrific penetration and verve to its flavors of orange oil, honey and hazelnut spread. Not at all heavy or over the top, this extremely long, savory wine will easily last decades. Not especially sweet, this rich wine will work best with aged cheeses, including blues or rich, hearty long-cooked white meat stews. ~93+ Vinous Media

5 Grappoli, Bibenda

Le Quattro Viti, Ais Associazione Italiana Sommelier

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