Montefalco has spent the last decade enhancing its formidable reputation for excellence – it rests upon unique terroir, indigenous grape varieties, and sustainable winegrowing. The timing is most opportune, as today’s oenophiles increasingly demand authentic experiences and esoteric flavours, with a sense of time and place, which is exactly what this Umbrian odyssey delivers.
There is far more to this Umbrian flag-bearer than simply red wines, with its diverse, multi-coloured vineyards that bask in the Mediterranean sunlight that floods the land south of Perugia. Yet it is also true that in Montefalco, growers have mastered a most singular expression of the indigenous Sagrantino grape, producing fresh and aromatic reds that are celebrated for their bold fruit flavours, freshness, and vibrant structure – modern and forward-thinking wines that answer the demands of today’s wine lover.
Montefalco Sagrantino DOCG
There are in fact, three major appellations to discover. The aforementioned Montefalco Sagrantino DOCG encompasses over 1400 acres of prime Sagrantino vineyards, surrounding the ancient hilltop town of Montefalco. To the west are the Apennine mountains and further east you’ll encounter the Adriatic. The style is a joy to discover; Sagrantino thrives in the mineral-rich calcareous soils of Montefalco but due to variances in elevation, there is an abundance of mesoclimates in the zone, with the higher altitude sites typically yielding wines of bracing acidity and freshness. At lower elevations meanwhile, expect a more concentrated interpretation of this wonderful grape, as only 100% Sagrantino reds are permitted.
Montefalco DOC, however, takes a more liberal approach; Rosso di Montefalco includes a high percentage of Sangiovese, in addition to smaller amounts of Sagrantino. Nevertheless, the two grapes blend well together, yielding fragrant, structured, and concentrated red wines. Sagrantino tempers the occasionally astringent tannins of Sangiovese, with its natural exuberance and rich fruit – it adds weight and depth to the wine. Thus, power and elegance join forces harmoniously. Here in Montefalco, as is the case elsewhere, single-vineyard expressions are increasingly important, placing additional focus on terroir and sense of place. Riserva styles are aged for 30 months before release, with at least 12 months in wood.
Yet if your preferences lean more towards shellfish, you should get acquainted with Spoleto DOC. The appellation framework encourages diversity: growers may produce a 100% Trebbiano Spoletino wine, or they can blend in other varieties (up to 50%) including the wonderfully aromatic Grechetto. Of course, some winemakers prefer to use 100% Trebbiano Spoletino, a grape with grip and personality, whilst others swear by their personal blends of two or more varieties. What is undoubtedly true however, is that Spoletino is capable of making excellent wine on its own terms: fragrant, fresh, and very moreish.
Yet another chapter to discover in the collection of exceptional wines from Montefalco, land of wine.
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