The Italian wine industry is littered with stories of estates that seem to have fairly small histories until you start digging a little deeper to uncover the secrets lost within. What one person may see as a vineyard established a couple of decades ago may actually have been used to produce wines for centuries. Such storied vineyards carry centuries of tradition that transfer into the wines that the current occupants produce, and thus should be respected as the iconic locations that they are.
Of course, not all historical vineyards lose their stories to the passage of time. Many new producers take over such historical vineyards precisely because their histories warrant such great respect.
That is exactly the case with today’s spotlighted producer. Though not exactly a new name in the Italian wine industry, Pandolfa is still something of a baby when it compares to the age and lineage of the vineyards that it has ownership of. This is the basic story of those vineyards.
Pandolfa first became a name that those in the Italian wine industry grew to respect in the 1940s, though it was in the 1980s that the company really exploded in popularity and became something special.
However, the land the company owns has a much longer history in Italian wine. Named after the military leader Sigismondo Pandolfa Malatesta, the land is steeped in ancient tales of war. It’s long military history is legend as much as it is fact, though many will point to the many recorded battles in the region as proof that the land was just as well known for the knights that stomped on its grass as the vines that took root in its vineyards.
Countless battles and wars could not dull the quality of the land. In fact, they only added to the legend of the land. In later years, Pandolfa was used for limited wine production, but it still had more of a reputation for war than it did for its wines.
That’s until the 1940s rolled around and everything changed. It was in 1941 that Italian Commander Giuseppe Ricci took ownership of the land. Though Italy was deeply involved in World War II at the time, Ricci was an entrepreneur as much as he was a warrior and he saw great potential in the land that had previously been so steeped in legend.
Once the war concluded, he tended the land and allowed it to continue building its legend. Though he did not focus as intently one the wine industry as he might have, Giuseppe cared for his land and made sure that it was taken care of so that he would have something to pass onto his family when the time came.
Ricci made sure to build the quality of the land so that he would have something to pass onto his family and it was in the 1980s that his daughter Noelia, took over the land. Noelia saw the great potential that Pandolfa had to offer and it was she he set about creating the winery that we know today. Throughout the 80’s she took the time to plant vines throughout the land and massively expanded its production. Concurrently, she built the winery that was needed to turn the lands grapes into great wines and the Pandolfa story began anew.
Today, the legends of the past no longer eclipse the winemaking potential of Pandolfa. Instead, the estate consists of 140 hectares of land that are dedicated to the growth of amazing grapes that go into the creation of some truly stunning wines.
40 of these hectares have been planted with Sangiovese, which makes up the bulk of the company’s product. However, Noelia has made sure to diversify and explore new ideas during her time tending the land. Among the Sangiovese you will find several other grape varieties, including Chardonnay and Trebbiano. She has also taken to growing other, more experimental varieties with the aim of introducing her own sense of whimsy and adventure into the wines she produces.
Pandolfa has now become a leading name in the production of wines using the Sangiovese grape. But, the company maintains a unique reputation in everything that it does. From the interesting artwork on its labels to the stunning contents of its bottles, Pandolfa has evolved from a land of war into a labour of love.
Now, with all of that being said it’s about time that we take a look at one of the company’s best recent wines. And, what better place to look than towards the Sangiovese that the company has built its reputation on?
This award-winning Sangiovese distinguishes itself in so many different ways that it’s almost impossible to speak too highly about the quality of the wine. The team at Xtrawine has awarded it a 95 out of 100 rating, which is a designation that very few wines on this website manage to achieve. Couple that with the price tag, which comes in at less than 20 euros, and you have a wine of undeniable quality that is also affordable to the average consumer.
When you pour the wine, one of the first things you will notice is its deep, ruby red colouring. It is all too easy to get lost in the swirling red, but to do so would be to deny yourself the joys of a truly wonderful Sangiovese.
The bouquet is striking as it brings together an array of ripe fruits to create a blend of aromas that will have you nose deep in your glass. A little further exploration reveals that there is a little more to it than fruit. The little spicy touches show you that the wine has some hidden depths for those who are willing to explore.
Pandolfa’s wine is as good to the taste as it is to the smell. It is just as complex as the bouquet suggests and you will be awash in a perfectly balanced drink that has just the right mix of tannins and fruit.