Wine producers of all ages and sizes are capable of crafting drinks that can invigorate the soul and enchant the senses. While the likes of the Antinori family have been capturing the imaginations of wine loves throughout the world for centuries, the emergence of the internet and the increased exposure that it provides to smaller producers has meant that more companies than ever before are starting to receive the credit that they deserve for creating wine that is truly compelling in its design and spectacular in its texture.
Newer winemakers, in particular, often find it difficult to establish footholds in an industry that is so often rooted in tradition. That’s why it is all the more remarkable when a company that was fairly recently founded is able to create a wine that stands up against some of the giants of the industry and establishes a reputation for itself.
Before we examine one such wine, we will take a look at Re Manfredi, which is the company that crafted the drink that the team at Xtrawine will be reviewing later on in the article.
Re Manfredi was established just before the turn of the century, with the company settings its roots in the Aglianico del Vulture DOC region in 1998. Establishing a philosophy that has seen it combine tradition with intense research and a propensity towards innovation, the company has set about crafting wines that adhere to the well-loved traditions of the region, while also having a very individual stamp on them that set them apart from the others that are produced in the area.
Like many more modern winemakers, the company places a respect for the land on which they cultivate their grapes at the forefront of their business model. In doing so, the company conceives of an interprets wines that are suitable for mass consumption, while also offering that extra special something that makes then such a joy to drink for true connoisseurs.
Located just a few kilometres north of the little town of Venosa, which is perhaps best-known as the birthplace of the Latin poet Horace, who was the leading Roman poet during the reign of Augustus and focused on universal themes like love, politics and ethics, often imbuing his subjects with a caustic satirical edge.
The town that he called home as a beautifully elegant place, as is the Re Manfredi vineyard and winery. A gorgeous Masseria stands out in the centre of the property, ready to greet any who wish to get a closer look at the grounds and the work that occurs in them to deliver some of the most stunning wines in recent memory to the Italian public.
The vineyards themselves are composed of more than 120 hectares, practically all of which are trained in the Guyot and spurred cordon styles. On many an occasion, visitors will be able to see the company’s employees tending these vines, which are often harvested right at the end of the season, resulting in them developing a reputation for some of the latest-cultivated grapes in the entire winemaking calendar.
Nods to tradition are complemented by the company’s determination to innovate and offer something completely unique to the industry. The grounds contain a large, modern vinification plant, which is perfectly contrasted by the prestigious barrique cellar in which the wines they produce are aged.
In many ways, the property represents what many more modern Italian winemakers aim to achieve. Not only does it embrace the new and make use of technologies that allow for the creation of truly stunning vintages, but it also pays homage to the traditions of old that have allowed for the industry itself to grow into the colossus of innovation that it is today.
However, it is in the land itself that the company’s true strength comes to the fore. The soils of the vineyard are volcanic in origin and the company does everything it can to ensure the minerals and other natural qualities of this land are not only preserved for future generations, but also imbue the wines that they create with a level of individuality that is noticeable to the taste.
The Vulture lands don’t just boast volcanic soil though. They also have some of the most unique climate conditions in the industry, with blazing hot summers contrasted by freezing cold winters. It is these conditions that allow for the grapes to be cultivated for extended periods of time, often not being harvested until well into the autumn.
It is all from this unique terroir that the stunning, mineral-rich wines that Re Manfredi produce are born. Imbued with the minerals of the land and a certain spiciness that is often imitated but never quite duplicated, the company has developed a reputation for crafting some truly unique vintages that are a joy for wine lovers the world over. With that in mind, here we will now take a closer look at one of the company’s more recent vintages and explain just what it is that makes it truly special.
Perhaps the most renowned of all the wines produced by Re Manfredi, this has a stunning ruby red colouring that is indicative of its quality long before you allow a drop to pass through your lips.
When introduced to the nose, the wine offers notes of bitter cherries and candied fruits, with just small hints of thyme and vanilla that demonstrate the fact that this is a complex wine that is going to prove something of a challenge to even the most dedicated of enthusiasts.
However, it is to the taste that this wine experiences its greatest triumph. Powerful and, at times, seemingly impervious, the wine offers gorgeously warm undertones of cream and spices, again demonstrating the true quality of the volcanic soil from where the grapes were grown.
This is even more obvious as you explore the wine further, with stunning mineral overtones allowing you to truly appreciate the quality on display. There truly are very few wines in Italy that can offer the same, making this thoroughly recommended to those who are searching for a new red wine to try.