I didn't knew it before this night, but Korem's blending is a bit controversial point. At the age of my first tasting I had compiled my own database with this listing:
"Cannonau, Carignano, Bovale Sardo, Cabernet Sauvignon";
the fact that there is not percentage or fraction shown, means that I really couldn't find more precise indications anywhere. In my impression, Cabernet Sauvignon's quote is not lesser than about 20%, and I base my assertion also considering how the Turriga tasted, being this last one "Cannonau, Carignano, Bovale Sardo", exactly the same Korem's grapes, just without Cabernet. Korem was '99, Turriga '97 (Turriga is released with two years more of ageing), the vintages are quite similar in character and overall quality, and this difference should not bias too much the comparison.
Before giving this information to you, I wanted to check it out, and I found on another VERY reputable source this fairly different indication for Korem's varietal mixing:
"Bovale Sardo 90%, Syrah 5%, Merlot 5%".
I couldn't find Argiola's official web site, and even my cellar couldn't answer: neither Turriga's nor Korem's backlabels supply more generous informations than extremely generical "...the most important traditional Sardinian grapes..." (Turriga), and "...our traditional grapes togheter with other ones of more recent introduction..." (Korem).
If I had to listen to my tasting skills (but I'm an extremely young wine lover, I began getting involved in wine 1 year & 1 month ago, that famous night that...), judging by the smell and taste as well as by the colour, I 'd say that in the Korem there's some good quote of Cabernet.
Regarding Merlot, it was not a particularly mellow wine, on the contrary, and so I wouldn't (and I didn't) say "Merlot", but actually 5% is a very limited percentage.
Regarding Syrah, the point becomes more interesting. In a very mediterranean appealing wine like Korem (and even more like Turriga), Syrah's presence should be more clearly detectable. But... : the Cannonau grape, which is the most present in Sardinia, is nothing other than the local name of the grape that French call Grenache and Spanish Garnacha. Cannonau's aromatic profile is not that spicy to be possibly changed for Syrah, but a 5% Syrah in the whole might be finally very little out-marking.
Furthermore: there's a particular and original scent, coming together with its corresponding taste, that I found very well distingushed in both Argiolas' labels, that I always attributed to the presence of the Bovale Sardo grape, since I couldn't find it in any of the various "Cannonau di Sardegna DOC" that I drank, which must be made with Cannonau grapes only.
It's quite hard for me to think that in the Korem there's 90% of it.
Finally, I don't know if I must consider that the previous information I had (the one indicating the presence of Cannonau and some Cabernet in the Korem) may have biased my learning regarding such rare and particular wines. I should taste them back and reconsider the whole point. Well, it's a dirty work, but someone must do it...
Well, I hope you can consider my reflections (when I first pressed the "post reply" icon, I only intended to supply some simple and clear information...) anyway somehow useful. In the meanwhile I'll be compelling my best sources to get to Argiolas secrets directly at the source. If I'll have some definitive news, I'll let you know.
If I can offer my suggestion, do try the Turriga, the '97 I had was one of the most elegant wines ever in my experience. If you scored 92 points for Korem, maybe you like quite modern-international styled wines. Turriga is not on that path, and this might explain WS's underrating it, but anyway the difference in price is well representing the different class of the two wines. If you like something more than chewing hard tannins when you drink wine, I'm sure you' re going to enjoy Turriga really very much.
In my opinion, absolutely a "must drink" wine in the Italian top class bottling.
P.S. : "Phylloxera", not a particularly beloved combination of syllabs, from this side of the Ocean...
How happened you wanted to choose it as your nickname -if I'm allowed to ask, of course-? Are you just an American living in Vienna, or what?