|Image courtesy of VinePair|
Montefalco DOC and DOCG RequirementsOn July 7th, 2015 the Montefalco Consortium issues a press release announcing a change to the Montefalco Rosso DOC regulations.
Montefalco Rosso DOC
Previous composition: 60-70% Sangiovese, 10-15% Sagrantino, 15-30% other authorized varietals.New composition: 60-80% Sangiovese and 10-25% Sagrantino.Aging: minimum 18 months, with no oak requirements
Sagrantino di Montefalco DOCG
Composition: 100% Sagrantino.Aging: minimum 30 months, with at least 12 months in oak.
Two of these producers reinvigorating wine making in Montefalco were Guido Guardigli and the Antonelli family. In the early 1990s, during a trip to the region, Guardigli was inspired by the potential of both the territory and signature grape. After purchasing the property, he planted what would eventually become 15 hectares of vines as well as built a new state of the art winery. He named his venture, Perticaia - old Umbrian for plow. Those 15 hectares of vineyards are almost half planted with Sagrantino, a quarter with Sangiovese, and the remainder in Colorino, Trebbiano Spoletino, and Grechetto.
The Antonelli family have been farming in Spoleto, just north of the village of Montefalco, since1881 when Francesco Antonelli purchased the San Marco de Corticellis estate (once owned by the Bishopric of Spoleto). In 1979 the family starting bottling and selling its wine and in 1986 5th generation Filippo Antonelli took the helm. From 1996 to 2006 he was president of the “Consorzio Tutela Vini Montefalco” and also manages a second family wine estate, Castello di Torre in Pietra. Currently the Antonelli estate contains 40 hectares of planted vines, predominately Sagrantino (some 30 years old) and Sangiovese, with smaller plantings of Montepulciano, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. White wine grapes are represented by Grechetto and Trebbiano Spoletin.
This August, the Montefalco Wine Consortium is participating in the 2015 Wine Bloggers Conference with a program titled “Discover Sagrantino, Umbria’s Signature Wine”. In order to promote the region, the group organized a twitter campaign and selected several bloggers at random to receive samples. I was one of these fortunate souls and received the two wines below. My first impression is that Sagrantino is inherently tannic; in fact, I later learned, it is one of the most tannic varieties in the world. Thus, decanting is mandatory. Yet, these tannins are chewy and blend seamlessly with the wine's mineral character and acids. And like a majority of Old World wines, Sagrantino is meant to be consumed with food, try these ragu and gnocchi recipes.
Perticaia Montefalco Rosso DOC 2011 (12% ABV) - Sangiovese 70%; Sagrantino 15%; Colorino 15%. Aged 18 months with 12 months in stainless steel and 6 months in the bottle. Starts with a cranberry aroma, which leads to a dry medium bodied wines with noticeable chewy leather tannins.
Antonelli Sagrantino di Montefalco DOCG 2007 (14% ABV) - Sagrantino 100%. Full bodied; dark fruit on the nose; jammy blackberries, minerals and depth, acids and very persistent chewy tannins. Persistent even after almost five additional years in the bottle. Begs for game or sausages.