Luiz Alberto, #winelover. Founder of the #winelover community, member of the Circle of Wine Writers, judge at International wine competitions, wine educator and communicator. /•/ Philip S. Kampe, #winelover: Growing up in New Orleans has opened my eyes to the world of wine, food, and culture. My heritage is a combination of French, British, and Hungarian. Add eight years of European life coupled with a wife of Italian roots and you will understand my journey into this amazing world.
Monday, November 26, 2012
SAGRANTINO D.O.C.G. Wines by Philip S. Kampe
Umbria is the only landlocked province in Italy. Tuscany is to the northwest, Marches
is east and Rome
is southwest. Due to the popularity of Tuscany,
a conversation about Umbria
and its wines rarely surfaces.
For the past 15 years, Umbria
has been a wine destination of mine. Friends (Fausto and Patrizia Proietti) own
a beautiful medieval guest house in Trevi, named TETTI de TREVI (.com).From the balcony of any of the seven guest
rooms, you can see the vineyards of Montefalco.
Each night that Maria (my wife) and I stay at Tetti de Trevei, Fausto Proietti
and I plan the route for the next days wine journey in Montefalco.
The region around Montefalco is known specifically for SAGRANTINO, the newest
noble wine variety in Italy.
Sagrantiono is considered an indigenous grape that only grows in the hilltop
areas around Montefalco.
According to current research, the first mention of the cultivation of the
Sagrantino wine grape dates back to 1549 in Montefalco. The Sagrantino name can
be traced back to the ‘Sacrament’ because the grape was cultivated by monks to
produce a raisin wine used for religious rites. There are many theories
regarding the origin of the grape. Some say St. Francis of Assisi
brought the grape from the Middle East to be
used as a sacramental wine. Others contend that the grape was brought to Umbria by the Greeks, as
well as Franciscan (French) friars. It’s still a debate that exists today. I don't know the answer.
Montefalco is located in a valley surrounded by the Apennine Mountains.
The valley is extremely warm in the summer, often over 100 degrees. Sand and
limestone soil keep the roots cool during the warm days. Mountain breezes cool
the wine growing region at night. Fortunately, a drying breeze, known by locals
as Tramontano, comes from the north and helps limit rot. The varied climate,
from hot to cool, results in a grape that has concentrated dark fruit and is
loaded with tannins.
Sagrantino nearly disappeared from the Umbrian vineyards in the 1960’s. The grape
was revived, thanks to the dedication of a few pioneering wine producers
including Fratelli Adanti and the founding of the Caprai winery.
Thanks to the dedication various producers from the region, Sagrantino obtained
a D.O.C. in 1979, followed by a D.O.C.G. in 1992.
Sagrantino wines are gaining popularity around the world. I believe because the wines are so unique.
At a recent sampling of 100% DOCG Sagrantino wines, numerous producers stood
out of the crowd.
My favorites included:
CASTELBUONO, Sagrantino di Montefalco DOCG 2006
PERTICAIA, Sagrantino di Montefalco DOCG 2006
CAPRAI, Sagrantino di Montefalco DOCG 2005
COLPETRONE, Sgrantino di Montefalco DOCG 2007
SCACCIADIAVOLI, Sagrantino di Montefalco DOCG 2005