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Cantina Peppucci is a relatively new estate but with a long historical background for Filippo Peppucci’s father bought the old Benedictine abbey of Sant’Antimo outside the hilltop town of Todi in the 1980s, and his mother, Luisa, planted their vineyards, 13 hectares of Grechetto, Sagrantino, Sangiovese, as well as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
The estate is within the new DOC of Todi, but their Sagrantino can only be an IGT, as they are just outside the DOCG of Sagrantino di Montefalco. Hence the name of the wine, Alter Ego.
Filippo Peppucci talks about Sagrantino with passionate enthusiasm. It is only relatively recently that people have started to appreciate the true qualities of Sagrantino and he believes that it has enormous potential. It is a wine of enormous character; it can be criticised for being a little rustic and lacking in elegance, so they sometimes add just a little Merlot to the blend.
Ideally, they would prefer not to do this, and certainly it should not be necessary once the vines are older. The wine is aged in French oak for twelve months, and then requires some time in bottle, for it to develop the rich brambly fruit, with firm tannins that is the benchmark of fine Sagrantino. Filippo is adamant that any oak must be carefully handled; ‘it can be a nightmare’. Ideally when his vines are much older, he would like to make a Sagrantino that is aged only in stainless steel tanks, but for the moment the vines are too young.
With the help of his oenologist, Lorenzo Landi, he also produces a Sagrantino passito, from grapes that are dried for several months on straw mats, and a Bordeaux blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, as well as Grechetto di Todi, which is the classic white variety of Todi.
But you sense that his energies are really directed towards his Sagrantino, which is a wonderful example of Umbria’s most original grape variety.
Price ex cellars 19.00€
00 39 075 894 72 53 / 894 74 39
Written by Rosemary George MW