Fattoria Pagliarese was established in the early 1970s in Castelnuovo Berardenga. Rising to prominence under the guiding hand of Giulio Gambelli, the estate quickly became known for producing wonderful wines. With the global economic downturn during the late 1980s, the winery fell on hard times and was forced to close. The property and vines lay dormant until 1995 when the Poggiali family, owners of Felsina, acquired the estate.
Initially, the Poggiali’s integrated the vineyards and facilities of Pagliarese into their existing wine operations. This remained the case for over 20 years while the family replanted vineyards and conducted blending trials seeking to understand the expression that Sangiovese gave from the Pagliarese estate.
After patient experimentation, the Poggiali’s finally decided that 2015 would be the vintage to complete the Pagliarese renaissance. Today the estate spans 65 hectares but only 25 are devoted to vineyards and another 10 to olive trees. Although not officially certified, the estate is farmed organically and the vineyards enjoy southerly exposition 350 meters above sea level. The 2015 vintage saw the release of a Chianti Classico and a Riserva.
The 2015 Pagliarese Chianti Classico Riserva is a medium ruby in the glass that fades to a brick colored rim. Rustic, traditional aromas of crushed berry, tobacco leaf, mushroom and damp earth mark the nose on the wine. On the palate, the wine is at first rather monolithic but plumped up and improved with extended aeration. Cherries, baking spices and dried tobacco present as primary flavors that are backed by rather astringent tannins. Needs time to come together. Vinified in stainless steel, the wine is then aged for 20 months in large oval Slavonian barrels. The wine is then refined in bottle for a minimum of 6 months before release. 90% Sangiovese, 5% Canaiolo and 5% Mammolo. 90 points. Shop around for the best pricing. Find this wine.
This is a project that will be interesting to follow. In light of my comments here regarding Felsina, I am curious to see how Pagliarese evolves. I will mention that this wine was bottled on the Felsina estate and although I am curious about any involvement Franco Bernabei may have, I was unable to discern any.