When we talk about many of the great Italian winemakers, we are often dealing with a singular vision for the wines that they create. Whether that be an entire family that has banded together to produce great wines, or a maverick who has started their own company in an effort to bring their ideas to a wider audience, it is rare to see outside influences on the development of many company’s wines.
That is why it is all the more interesting when a company comes along that bucks the trend. That is exactly what we have when we consider Agricola Punica, which is a joint venture between a number of winemakers in Italy, providing them with a sounding board to bounce ideas off each other, producing some truly remarkable wines in the process.
This collaborative effort has already begun to bear fruit. However, before we look at one of the company’s most famous creations, let’s take some time to examine how they came to be and the philosophies that continue to drive them
As mentioned, Agricola Punica is a collaborative effort between a number of winemakers, who jointly purchased land in Sardinia in 2002 and divided it into two estates – Barrua and Narcao.
The joint venture is headed by all of the following:
- Sebastiano Rosa
- Cantina di Santadi
- Tenuta San Guido
- Santadi President Antonello Pilloni
They are joined by the world-renowned oenologist Giacomo Tachis, meaning there are many unique and interesting ideas being brought to the table. The partnership was instigated by Rosa, who currently owns the majority of the share in the company, however, each member of the group is offered an equal chance to express their ideas and work with others to expand on them, creating a fruitful relationship that has already developed into the creation of some quality wines in the mere 13 years that they have worked together.
As with all great wines, it is the land that often plays a large part in informing the quality of the eventual product and the same is true for Agricola Punica. As mentioned, the company purchased a tract of land in Sardinia in the early part of the century, amounting to a total of 370 acres.
This estate was then divided into two distinct sites, each tasked with producing distinctive wines.
Barrua is perhaps the most famous of the two estates and has been used to plant Carignano, Cabernet Saivignon and Merlot vines. Furthermore, thanks to the favourable weather conditions in Sardinia, it has been found that these vines tend to mature much more quickly than they would in other regions, offering the group something of an edge while also providing them with the opportunity to experiment a little further with their production methods.
In particular, the region is perfect for the Carignano vine, which thrives in the hot climate offered in Sardinia. Mild winters help the grape to grow so that it is the best that it can be, with seven hours of daily sunlight only further helping the process.
It is also these conditions that have made the area favourable to Merlot and Cabernet as well, allowing both grapes to flourish much more quickly than they would in other climates. In fact, the warmth is particularly advantageous for Merlot, especially when considering the issues that frost caused the grape in the 1950s.
With all of the pieces in place, the company set about establishing its philosophy and bringing it to the winemaking world. The spirit of cooperation in pursuit of creating a superb wine is strong, with each member of the collective encouraging the others to offer up ideas and share the wealth of their experiences in an effort to create some truly stunning wines.
All told, the wines produced by this company are the result of many influences, but in this case you don’t need to worry about too many cooks spoiling the broth. The experience of the men involved, particularly Mr Tachis, ensures that the blends created are always of the highest quality and that the bad ideas are weeded out so that only the good remain. This has led to the creation of some truly stunning wines, such as the one that we are going to be examining now.
Named after the vineyard that gave it life, the Barrua is perhaps the most famous wine produced by Agricola Punica and it has quickly garnered a reputation as one of the most spectacular still red wines available. In fact, critical reception for the wine has been exceptionally high and it is rare to find a review of the drink that is anything less than absolutely glowing in its price of the wine and the people that have worked so hard to produce it.
The wine is initially defined by its striking colour, which instantly attracts the eye and lets you know that the climate the grapes were grown in was absolutely ideal for its production.
However, it is when you bring the wine to the nose that you will be truly astounded. Rich and evocative scents of black fruit, spices and dry herbs will almost tempt you to hold back on the tasting. Once you do invite the wine onto your palette, those aromas will suddenly explode into life, creating a gorgeously smooth drink that features perfectly balanced tannins and a velvety texture that ensures it is never anything less than a pleasure to consume.
Of course, as with all truly great red wines, the drink is best combined with a good meal. In this case, it goes extremely well with a nice, rich stew that features high quality red meats that work to complement the fine taste of the wine.
Alternatively, you can enjoy the drink with a beautiful braised lamb and really allow the many flavours that you experience during the meal to swim around in your mouth. We promise that you won’t regret giving this wine a try and we believe that by the time you have finished the bottle you will have a brand new favourite red wine.
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