General description of the Sagrantino Montefalco wine
The typical red wine from Umbria, the “Montefalco Sagrantino DOCG or Sagrantino di Montefalco
DOCG”, takes its name from the “Sagrantino” vine which is used as 100% pure in the production of this wine. Since centuries this vine is been cultivated on the typical hills from Umbria which characterize the territory morphology on the east and south side of the Perugia province. Today the Sagrantino vine is considered as local of the Umbria region, but some historical sign doubts on the national origins of this vine by thinking that Spain has the original roots and imported it during the domination in 1500. To validate this thesis there is the fact that the color and the scent of these grapes of some organoleptic aspects remind the Spanish wines. Other signs tell about Saracen origins who arrived in Italy during the XVIII century.
In 1979 the Sagrantino di Montefalco wine is honored by the DOC Denominazione di origine Controllata certification and lately in 1992, after a renovation policy of the territory, this wine achieve the DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita) certification which incredibly increase the deserved prestigious. For this reason its production area in limited to the administrative territories of Montefalco, Gualdo Cattaneo and Giano dell’Umbria, which are located in the South-east of Perugia and to the South of Assisi. To the Rosso di Montefalco Sagrantino DOCG can be conferred the deserve of being the red wine which gives celebrity to the Umbria region in Europe and in the worldwide. It is produced with local grapes which reflects the scent and the tastes of the territory where it is produced and it spreads all around this wonderful peculiarities. This particular vine in fact, on the Umbrian hills around the Montefalco town, manage to express its particularities thanks to the union of the air, the territory and the mite climate and humidity with a good percentage during the whole year, even in winter. 660 hectares of territory which can produce excellent wines, joined to an historical prestigious aspect regarding the cellars and the recent turn about the biological production at 100%. These are all aspects that increase the prestigious and the capacity of innovation of this territory and its inhabitants.
Descriptiion of the production area of the Sagrantino Montefalco
As already told, the production territory of the Sagrantino di Montefalco DOCG extends for 660 hectares at the South-east of Perugia. This hilly area is rich of a Mediterranean vegetation which is the most productive area, more fertile and rich of different vines and in general for all the agricultural aspect of Umbria. The wine tradition in this area started at the beginning of the Middle-Age (beginning of the V cent. A.D.) where the Benedictines reclaimed the territory and they enrich the territory of vegetation.
During this period they grafted vines and other cultivations of the ancient Umbria within the Sagrantino vines.
Since the beginning, the wines produced with these grapes, identified as great quality grapes, were served to the papal canteens and to the noble banquets that often specifically asked for that (there were found very old orders which are guarded in the historical cellar of Umbria).
For long time the prestigious and the recognizable of this wine remained confined in this territory. Only after the two certifications one in ’79 and the other in ’92 with a good territorial marketing the doors opened in the Italian and in the European markets and today also worldwide.
It has to be said that initially the Rosso di Sagrantino di Montefalco DOCG wine born as sweet wine as raisin wine but today is also possible to find the “dry” version always DOCG.
Historically the Rosso di Montefalco Sagrantino was produced by the natural withering of the grapes on wood which was perfect for this kind of grape that can withering for long time without going rotten, by keeping the sugar component as defense against the bacteria.
Most of all this production process strengthen more the thesis concerning the ancient importation of the grapes from Spain because the most of the Spanish wines are produced with this method.
To this it has to be added that the particular wood trellis belonging to the Mediterranean scrub permits not to absorb an excessive must quantity.
Description of the vine and grapes of the Sagrantino di Montefalco
The Sagrantino vine produces a wide tannic wine and this obliged a long aging period that cannot be less than 33 months where 12 are obligatory in oak barrels. For the dry version these 12 months are obligatory, for the raisin wine version it depends on the farmer.
An additional refinement period of 4 months takes place in the bottles.
The grape harvest takes place in October and they produce a structured wine rich of tannin and polyphenol present in every single grape. This important aspect gives to the wine longevity both in refinement than in aging. The grape has a thick and resistant peel with a rich vein pulp with ruby reflections.
During the straw wine making process, the union between pulp and peel permits the concentration of the aromatic substances in the inside, to evaporate the water through the exterior and a great resistance to the going rotten.
It has an intense but opaque dark red color, hardly penetrating.
It has also some dark violet reflections tending to a more garnet color by growing the aging period.
The scent of this amazing red wine from Umbria reminds the black cherry, and the little wood fruits such as the strawberries and the raspberries. There are some earthy aromas due to the clay of the lands where it is produced. There are also some red flowers flavors and especially the star anise. The scent is always delicate, persistent and reminds a little bit the blackberry bush one.
The Montefalco di Sagrantino DOCG has a good persistence, it is wide and warm, very mellow, and floury to leave its taste on the palate for a long time. The winy is explosive and the tannins are powerful and this permits to intrigue the consumer. It is not a fresh wine so it has to be joined by strong and structured tastes. Finally the taste is harmonic, dry and rich in every aspect.
Due to the organoleptic structure of this DOCG wine it has to be matched to second courses especially the wide and variegate Umbrian tradition specialties. The main matches are with red meats , game, and cutting boards with cheese and cold cut. It is perfect for stew boar and deer a part from the lamb roasted meat or in humid.
The Sagrantino di Montefalco has to be served in a temperature between the 18° and 20°C in wide wine glasses such as “Grand Ballon” to let flow the wine flavors.
The best years according to the Italian sommelier are ‘’07, ‘’08 and 2012.
Go on our online wine shop Uritalianwines. You can find other wines produced with the Sagrantino vines: Sagrantino di Montefalco Passito DOCG, Rosso di Montefalco DOC, Rosso del Poggio IGT, Rosato del Poggio IGT and many others.