If there is a Denomination in Italy that is questioning itself, attempting to project itself onto national and international markets with renewed enthusiasm and style, it is Sagrantino di Montefalco. The mighty Umbrian red is making giant strides in terms of appeal, thanks to the multifaceted “alien winemaker” recently chosen as President of the Consortium.
The reference is to that Giampaolo Tabarrini who can afford to present the vintage in flip-flops, but above all in English (finally!), leaving others the task of “overrating” the 2018 vintage with “4 stars”. All this, in front of an audience of Italian and foreign experts that has never been so packed.
In the chalice, the 2018 Sagrantino being tasted at Anteprima 2022 (24-27 May) seems, in fact, to be yielding a few steps to the less famous Rosso di Montefalco. A wine to (re)discover and (re)evaluate, unrelated to the local Docg, which continues to convince with Tabarrini – Colle alle Macchie and Colle Grimaldesco always at the top – Bocale, Pardi and Antonelli San Marco, even more than with Lungarotti, Colle Ciocco and Perticaia.
The Rosso di Montefalco wines seem to have found, in the last two years, an average squareness that has never been so centred in the overall range, despite the variegated and uneven use of international varieties (mainly Bordeaux, from 15 to 30% of the blend) combined with Sangiovese (between 60 and 80%) and Sagrantino (from 10 to 25%).
ROSSO DI MONTEFALCO ON THE SHIELDS AT ANTEPRIMA SAGRANTINO 2022
The programme of the Umbrian Previews last week demonstrates, however, that the expression of Cabernet, Merlot and Sangiovese has an edge in Montefalco over other areas of Umbria (see the Trasimeno area, in great pain and lacking in identity on Igt and Rosso Doc, at the test of the glass).
And it is precisely from this awareness that Montefalco producers intend to start again. Giving “Rosso” an increasingly precise identity. Among the 2019 Montefalco Rosso Doc wines being tasted at Anteprima Sagrantino 2022 are those of Bocale (him again), Moretti Omero and Tenuta Bellafonte (“Pomontino”), as well as Antonelli San Marco (again), Arnaldo Caprai and Briziarelli.
The denomination, in terms of the grape base and the approach of the producers, has all the credentials to gain more space on the market. Both in terms of “ready-to-drink” wine and medium to medium-long ageing.
This was demonstrated at Anteprima Sagrantino 2022 by Pardi’s 2016 vintage. It is no coincidence that, among the “Reds” at the tasting, the 2018s from Luca di Tomaso, Fattoria Colsanto and Montioni, as well as Tabarrini’s Boccatone 2017, also convinced – more than other 2019s.