I hope everybody had a nice weekend. I’m writing on Sunday because tomorrow I travel to Venice so won’t be able to write a blog entry. I spent this weekend in Umbria in the beautiful hill town of Todi. I took with me the Racemi Felline Primitivo of Fridays blog and a new wine to review the 2004 Antinori Tignanello.
This weekend I spoke to local expats and Italians of Umbria to discover the local drinking habits. I was surprised at the extent of viticulture in the area. A quick tour by car reveals that the countryside is simply full of vines and olive groves. Umbria is not famous for wine but almost every small town is producing wine in a major way. Orvieto is the most famous wine producing area but there are significant vineyards in Todi, Assisi and Perugia.
The populace of rural Umbria get their wine (mostly white Grechetto & Trebbiano or red Sangiovese) for €1.20 a litre from the local petrol garage. The wine is pumped into any vessel the customer thinks suitable just like petrol and, the locals tell me, the quality is just fine. Last night we ate at a local trattoria in Todi and sampled the white and red at dinner and while the wine wont be winning any awards it certainly did the job and is very cheap. This wine also finds its way onto restaurant tables as the house wine.
Umbria has one D.O.C.G wine but is most famous for the Orvieto Classico white. There are some excellent blended wines from the region most notably the Lamborghini, Falesco and Sportoletti super-umbrians! The Orvieto Classico’s can be very good and very cheap, I recommend La Carraia as the best producer currently operating.
Antinori Tignanello 2004 – €40 – BUY and HOLD
Intense & beautiful ruby red, a superb traditional Tignanello colour with orange hues. Initially very subtle aromas of cherry and vanilla. Six hours later the nose was explosive giving massive notes of strawberries and coffee as well as the initial cherry and vanilla. The wine is among the smoothest I’ve ever tasted with super rich opulence and class. The tannins were well balanced considering the age and the finish was fruity finesse. Gave the impression of having a lot more to say in a few years. Drinking wonderfully today but will improve, you shouldn’t drink this wine for at least 5 more years and 10 would be better! Wonderful QPR – 94 Points
Where can I Buy this wine?
Europeans – Enoteca San Domenico – €45
Americans – Wine Merchant Cincinnati – $75
Brits – The Cellar Door – £38
Question of the Day
If you could get your wine in any vessel you wanted, like the Umbrians, what would you choose and why?