Cantina Gabriele Chianti 2017
Pairs well with first courses prepared with sauce, roasted red and white meats, kid and medium-aged cheeses.
In the midst of the XIXth century in Pantelleria - a little island in the south of Italy - Andrea I Pandolfo, great-grand father of the present owner Gabriele, began to produce wines based on the specie of Zibibbo grapes. In 1880, Andrea I sold the small vineyards in the island and bought 150 acres of virgin land in the north of Tunisia - precisely at Khanguet Gare, in the region of Cape Bon. There were planted and picked the first grapes then, in the early years of the XXth century, Andrea I and his son Giovanni began to produce quality wines in their family cellar. Such a good wine that from the port of Tunis departed full-loaded cargos to serve the best markets of France.
In 1938 Andrea II, son of Giovanni, was only sixteen when he took the business in his hands and continued to rise the fame and quality of the wines with courage and toil. But a terrible illness striked Tunisia destroying all the vineyards: Filossera. The dry grapes were burned and the obtained coal was sold in the market of Tunis. The family got new plants of innested barbatelle resisting to the disease from France and the red and desolate lands began to color up again with green leaves and generous grapes.
On May 12th, in 1964, Habib Bourguiba - the current president of Tunisia at that time - with an historically important measure dispossessed all the goods and properties of the foreigners in Tunisia.
Suddently a life-time hard work and sacrifice was wiped out and the Pandolfo family had to leave the country and divide between Italy and France. Andrea II at that time was fourty-two years old and, with his wife Elena and his sons, decided to come back to Italy to buy a small estate close to Terracina in Via Renibbio n° 1720 where he re-started to till that bitter-sweet land and to harvest, during the vintage of 1968, the first grapes to make wine.
With the first customers, the first bottles with hand-written labels and the first chestnut barrels the family cellar started to set up in the early wine-producing realities of the Pontina region. In 1976 Andrea II Pandolfo died and his sons, sided by the help of their mother Elena, decided to carry on that dream which began 150 years before by Andrea I in Pantelleria island.
This is how the farm 'Sant'Andrea' was born, also to remember the name of its founder. Nowadays the farm 'Sant'Andrea' is leaded by Gabriele Pandolfo, his wife Enza, his son Andrea III.
Famous for its food-friendly, approachable wines and their storied history, Chianti is perhaps the best-known wine region of Italy. This appellation within Tuscany has it all: sweeping views of rolling hills, endless vineyards, the warm Mediterranean sun, hearty cuisine and a rich artistic heritage. Chianti includes seven subzones: Chianti Colli Fiorentini, Rufina, Montalbano, Colli Senesi, Colline Pisane, Colli Aretini and Montespertoli, with area beyond whose wines can be labeled simply as Chianti.
However the best quality comes from Chianti Classico, in the heart of the Chianti zone, which is no longer a subzone of the region at all but has been recognized on its own since 1996. The Classico region today is delimited by the confines of the original Chianti zone protected since the 1700s.
Chianti wines are made primarily of Sangiovese, with other varieties comprising up to 25-30% of the blend. Generally, local varieties are used, including Canaiolo, Colorino and Mammolo, but international varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah are allowed as long as they are grown within the same zone.
Basic, value-driven Chianti is simple and fruit-forward and makes a great companion to any casual dinner. At its apex, Chianti is full bodied but with good acidity, firm tannins, and notes of tart red fruit, dried herbs, fennel, balsamic and tobacco. Chianti Riserva, typically the top bottling of a producer, can benefit handsomely from a decade or two of cellaring.
The perfect intersection of bright red fruit and savory earthiness, Sangiovese is among Italy's elite red grape varieties and is responsible for the best red wines of Tuscany. While it is best known as the chief component of Chianti, it is also the main grape in Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and reaches the height of its power and intensity in the complex, long-lived Brunello di Montalcino
Elsewhere throughout Italy, Sangiovese plays an important role in many easy-drinking, value-driven red blends and on the French island of Corsica, under the name Nielluccio, it produces excellent bright and refreshing red and rosé wines with a personality of their own. Sangiovese has also enjoyed success growing in California and Washington.
In the Glass
Sangiovese is a medium-bodied red with qualities of tart cherry, plum, sun dried tomato, fresh tobacco and herbs. High-quality, well-aged examples can take on tertiary notes of smoke, leather, game, potpourri and dried fruit. Corsican Nielluccio is distinguished by a subtle perfume of dried flowers.
Sangiovese is the ultimate pizza and pasta red—its high acidity, moderate alcohol, and fine-grained tannins create a perfect symbiosis with tomato-based dishes, braised vegetables, roasted and cured meat, hard cheese and anything off the barbecue.
Although it is the star variety of Tuscany, cult-classic “Super-Tuscan” wines may actually contain no Sangiovese at all! Since the 1970s, local winemakers have been producing big, bold wines as a blend of one or more of several international varieties—usually Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot or Syrah—with or without Sangiovese.