Cantina Gabriele Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Kosher 2010
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.
A warm, Mediterranean vine-growing paradise, in Abruzzo, the distance from mountains to seaside is relatively short. The Apenniness, which run through the center of Italy, rise up on its western side while the Adriatic Sea defines its eastern border.
Wine composition tends to two varieties: Abruzzo’s red grape, Montepulciano and its white, Trebbiano. Montepulciano d’Abruzzo can come in a quaffable, rustic and fruity style that generally drinks best young. It is also capable of making a more serious style, where oak aging tames its purely wild fruit.
Trebbiano in Abruzzo also comes in a couple of varieties. Trebbiano Toscana makes a simple and fruity white. However when meticulously tended, the specific Trebbiano d’Abruzzo-based white wines can be complex and long-lived.
In the region’s efforts to focus on better sites and lower yields, vine acreage has decreased in recent years while quality has increased.
Consistently enticing and enjoyable, Montepulciano enjoys great popularity throughout central and southern Italy and is gaining quite a following in many other parts of the world. Widely prolific in its homeland, Montepulciano is actually the second most planted red variety in Italy after Sangiovese, though it is most associated with the region of Abruzzo where it achieves its highest potential. A tiny bit grows in California, Argentina and Australia as well.
In the Glass
Dark and inky, Montepulciano brims with boysenberry, black plum and juicy tart cherry flavors. Typical aromas come in the form of berry pie, freshly cut Italian herbs, dark chocolate and licorice. It’s a full-bodied wine with fine to rustic tannins.
Historically this variety has been one to inhabit many pizzeria and cafe wine lists throughout central and into southern Italy, offering amazing value for everyday consumption. It is no doubt a perfect complement to a variety of other foods we are used to: barbecued brisket, meatloaf, Shepherd’s Pie and grilled portabella mushrooms. Think of it as the perfect alternative to Syrah, Petite Sirah or Malbec if you’re looking to broaden your horizons.
The wine called Vino Nobile di Montepulciano is actually not to be confused with Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. Montepulciano is also the name of a village in Tuscany; Sangiovese grows there and is responsible for Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. The grape called Montepulciano grows in Abruzzo and makes the wine called Montepulciano d’Abruzzo.