Sagrantino di Montefalco

Sagrantino di Montefalco,

Sagrantino di Montefalco, without doubt the best kept red wine secret of Italy is about to be well and truly exposed. I am so excited about this wine for a multitude of reasons! Sagrantino di Montefalco comes from the Sagrantino grape grown around the hills of a town called Montefalco, a town that I could literally tee off and hit with a golf ball from the back terrace of my home in Umbria. I’d heard of Sagrantino di Montefalco, I’ve tried it but I had no idea just how good Sagrantino di Montefalco could be. We even sell a decent Sagrantino di Montefalco, there’s a bottle sat on my mantelpiece (yes, not laid down, naughty) but only yesterday did I get my first taste of REAL Sagrantino di Montefalco, this was by what many consider to be the best producer of the wine, Arnaldo Caprai.

My past opinion of this wine was limited to, “sure this is the best red in Umbria, but really, that’s not hard”. I’d been served this wines a few times in some trattorias in Todi and Perugia but they must have been giving me the worst examples possible. Well, I have to take all that back and stand completely corrected because this is a serious red wine, a serious serious red wine that you absolutely need to try.

The Sagrantino di Montefalco (Arnaldo Caprai Sagrantino di Montefalco 25 Anni 2001) I sampled yesterday was easily in the same league as the best Brunellos and Barolos and at a third of the price. We’re talking sheer quality, really aromatic, tannic, spicy, plummy wines, really dry and in need of aging. In case I am not the only one living in ignorance of Sagrantino di Montefalco, let me share with you a few facts! Oh, and the town is just round the corner from Bastardo, I didn’t just add that photo for comedy value alone *ahem*

The stand out characteristic of Sagrantino di Montefalco is the exceptional dryness you get, the grapes for this wine are dried in passito style and made from 100% Sagrantino grapes. This has been a DOCG wine since 1991. There are around 30 producers of this wine with the best examples of this wine selling for around €50-60 a bottle (these are 95-97 point wines so exceptional QPR). There are only about 300 acres of this grape currently planted so it’s a wine that can be a little hard to find, an exclusive wine. The wine itself is very very tannic and drying and benefits hugely from aging, can be aged up to 40 years from the best vintages. 2000 and 2001 were great vintages for the grape but the 2004 is the latest release and is gathering lots of support as an outstanding vintage.

Arnaldo Caprai is generally agreed to be the best producer of Sagrantino di Montefalco but Paolo Bea and Colpetrone also produce excellent wines. Next weekend I will be making a trip to the Arnaldo Caprai vineyards and picking up some Sagrantino di Montefalco as well as sampling their other wines, I’m very excited about this, partly because this is the standout vineyard in Umbria and partly because I can roll out of bed and stroll there.

Arnaldo Caprai Sagrantino di Montefalco 25 Anni 2001BUY – €55
Dark, thick, brooding and inviting in the glass the aromas are hitting me before I even take a sniff. Huge, intense nose of plums, jam, coffee, fruit comes through so strongly here it really is exceptionally jammy, a real plum jam hit. On the palate the wine was so drying but the fruit in the mid palate carries it through but it’s clear we could do with some extra aging here. The mouth feel is soft and caressing, not acidic with a lovely 30 second + finish. A fantastic surprise, delicious, great structure, an exceptional wine tasting experience. 96 Points

You can pay €200 for a 96 Point Gaja Barolo or a Casa di Neri Brunello, if you have a celebration that calls for a great bottle without the price tag, say your 2nd child’s graduation or a 15 year wedding anniversary, and you don’t want to splash the cash,this is the wine to buy! Top marks. Go get it. Now. Leave the blog, don’t look at the question of the day.

Where can I buy this wine?

Europeans – Italian Wine Selection – €55
Americans – The Wine Connection – $89 !ON SALE!
Brits – Fine and Rare – £52

Question of the Day

What are you doing here? I told you, go buy the wine.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Denny Hunter says:

    Hi SarahI ordered the Sagrantino di Montefalco on sale and it was really superb. Thanks for th recommendation, all the family thought it was a great wine and I have another varietal to add to my wishlist.Denny

  2. Anonymous says:

    I am a long term fan of this wine and it could be I live not too far from you in Montecastrilli. I’ve sent you an email. Always nice to meet a fellow Todite!Rob

  3. Anonymous says:

    Yummy, yummy! I have to agree, this wine’s a keeper! -Tina

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