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Pardi Montefalco Rosso 2011
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
In 1925 at the exhibition of Oils and Wines from Umbria and Sabina in the Town Hall in Montefalco, the Pardi Brothers were awarded the silver medal for the table red wines by the Minister of National Economy. Alberto, who was responsible for marketing, dies in 1943 and his brothers are elderly. (“La cantina dei Fratelli Pardi” in Gambacurta Luigi –Montefalco 1800-1900- Persone, cose e momenti del nostro vivere quotidiano-Montefalco 2005). In the following years the founders’ sons decide to enter upon a new business : they close down the winery and in 1949 establish the weaving mill Tessitura Pardi s.r.l.
The tradition and the competence of wine-growing are handed down by Rio Pardi (1914-1991): after his father Alberto’s death he keeps up producing small quantities of Sagrantino Passito on the ground floor of his house in Via Mazzini in Montefalco. The Sagrantino Passito is mostly used as a gift for friends and partly is sold in his own grocery.
In 1990 Alberto and Agostino Pardi, the managers of the Tessitura Pardi, for lack of space, decide to move the weaving mill from the initial building in Montefalco in Via Giovanni Pascoli to the new works in the industrial area in Giano dell’Umbria. In 2002 Francesco, Gianluca Rio and Alberto Mario, driven by the will of the Pardi family to keep on the tradition, and with the help of their parents Agostino and Alberto, restore the building in Via Giovanni Pascoli and revive their great-grandfathers’winery. Today the same way of thinking and commitment of the family are handed down by the new generations with enthusiasm.
Centered upon the lush Apennine Range in the center if the Italian peninsula, Umbria is one of the few completely landlocked regions in Italy. It’s star red grape variety, Sagrantino, finds its mecca around the striking, hilltop village of Montefalco. The resulting wine, Sagrantino di Montefalco, is an age-worthy, brawny, brambly red, bursting with jammy, blackberry fruit and earthy, pine forest aromas. By law this classified wine has to be aged over three years before it can be released from the winery and Sagrantino often needs a good 5-10 more years in bottle before it reaches its peak. Incidentally these wines often fall under the radar in the scene of high-end, age-begging, Italian reds, giving them an almost cult-classic appeal. They are undoubtedly worth the wait!
Rosso di Montefalco, on the other had, is composed mainly of Sangiovese and is a more fruit-driven, quaffable wine to enjoy while waiting for the Sagrantinos to mellow out.
Among its green mountains, perched upon a high cliff in the province of Terni, sits the town of Orvieto. Orvieto, the wine, is a blend of at least 60% Trebbiano in combination with Grechetto, with the possible addition of other local white varieties. Orvieto is the center of Umbria’s white wine production—and anchor of the region’s entire wine scene—producing over two thirds of Umbria’s wine. A great Orvieto will have clean aromas and flavors of green apple, melon and citrus, and have a crisp, mineral-dominant finish.
Big, bold and modern in style, Tuscan Blends can be composed solely of international grape varieties or a mix of international and indigenous. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Syrah, are some of the most popular. They all marry with the indigenous Sangiovese very well, or can be blended together without Sangiovese—or even made on their own as single varietal bottlings!
Where did the idea come from? In the 1970s a few Tuscan winemakers had become disenchanted with Italian winemaking laws and decided to retaliate and get creative. They started making wine solely from these international grapes or adding them to Sangiovese, in differing proportions, with amazing success—and the phenomenon was born.
The most famous and revered Tuscan Blends from Italy are called “Super Tuscans.” One of the most well-known, ‘Tignanello,’ created by Antinori in 1971, is a blend of 80% Sangiovese, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc.
Ornellaia, established by Marchesi Lodovico Antinori in 1981, with the help of renowned agronomist Andre Tchelistcheff, remains a stellar example today; since 2002 Marchesi de' Frescobaldi has been the sole owner. It is typically a blend of about half Cabernet Sauvignon, a third Merlot and the rest filled in with Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.
Sassicaia, another, has earned itself an extraordinary reputation and global esteem, so much so that the Sassicaia property was actually awarded its very own appellation with the 1994 vintage. It is typically 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Cabernet Franc.