Posts Tagged ‘Sagrantino di Montefalco’

Tight Nebbiolo and open Sagrantino

April 28, 2016 2 comments

I write my daily tasting notes on small Moleskine notebooks and employ a medium-sized spiral bound notebook for formal tastings.  At times when I do not feel like walking upstairs to my office to fetch my daily notebook, I might instead grab a sheet from a notepad.  The tasting notes I am publishing this week came from such loose sheets of paper because I lost my daily notebook, either on my plane or more likely, in the airport during my flight out to Seattle.  There were only a few dozen unpublished notes from recently purchased bottles and a few bottles I have had for years.  Oh well!  I guess those empty bottles now go straight to the recycling!

Sagrantino and Nebbiolo are both capable of producing wines that must be aged before they are enjoyable. The 2011 Fattoria Col Santo, Sagrantino de Montefalco is the latest vintage of a wine which breaks the mold by being extremely enjoyable in its vigorous youth.  Just think of a flavorful core of red and black fruits, graphite, minerals, excellent acidity, and some spicy tannins.  This is seriously fun stuff at an affordable price.  The 2004 Ca’Rome, Calimpia, Langhe clearly needs more age to resolve the firm and dry tannic structure.  There are good flavors in the wine and in drinking it quickly, avoid double-decanting, it is a fine drink at $15.  I would not gamble the original price of $48 because I am not entirely sure the flavors will outlast the structure.  These wines were purchased at MacArthur Beverages.


2011 Fattoria Col Santo, Sagrantino de Montefalco – $18
Imported by Siema Wines.  his wine is 100% Sagrantino sourced from vineyards in Montarone on soils of clay and lime.  The fruit is harvested at the beginning of October, fermented in stainless steel, then undergoes malolactic fermentation in 70% wood casks and 30% stainless steel.  The wine is then aged for 15 months in wooden casks followed by a further 12 months of aging in stainless steel tanks.   Alcohol 15.5%.  There are lovely flavors of ripe red and black fruit which come out in the vigorous start.  These flavors are quickly joined by black graphite, spices, and eventually minerals in the spicy, tannic finish.  The acidity is spot on for the great core of fruit.  The wine add density and minerality with air.  Well done.  ***(*) Now – 2026.


2004 Ca’Rome, Calimpia, Langhe – $15
Imported by Empson.  This is 100% young Nebbiolo sourced from vines on the hill of Barbaresco.  Alcohol ?  There is some roast on the nose but not in the mouth.  With a start of tart black and red fruit, the wine takes on some weight as dry, mouth-coating tannins come out.  This is a very dry wine with firm wood tannins that actually contribute a sense of extract.  Clearly needs age but there are some interesting flavors in the work.  **(*) Now – 2026.

Three wines for the cold weather

January 14, 2015 Leave a comment

Produced by the famous port produce Quinta do Noval, the 2009 Cedro do Noval, Duriense offers a slight twist for a table wine by including a bit of Syrah.  Though you might expect this vintage to show some age the wine itself is young, firm, and full of barrel influences.  I would cellar this wine another year or two to let the flavors integrate.  The 2012 (Chapoutier) Domaine Bila-Haut, Occultum Lapidem, Cotes du Roussillon Villages Latour already has a lot going on.  This is an athletic wine that you may drink now to warm the bones but is best left in the cellar.   Your best bet might be to start with the 2006 Villa Mongalli, Della Cima, Sagrantino di Montefalco.  The wine is taking on bottle aged flavors but still has a prominent, chunky tannic structure.  I rather enjoyed this wine, the structure is in no ways distracting so we had a hard time leaving leftovers for the next night.  The Noval and Bila-Haut were purchased at MacArthur Beverages and the Mongalli at Weygandt Wines.


2009 Cedro do Noval, Duriense – $17
Imported by Vintus Wines.  This wine is a blend of 50% Touriga Nacional, 30% Touriga Franca, 10% Syrah, and 10% Tinta Roriz sourced from young and old vines.  Alcohol 14%.  There was a stand-up nose of candied red fruit, vanilla, and leather.  After the slightly buttery start the wine revealed fresh herbs and a licorice like note then ended with a racy, almost cinnamon-laden finish.  The wine shows young with a firm side despite the minimal presence of tannins.  **(*) Now – 2022.


2012 (Chapoutier) Domaine Bila-Haut, Occultum Lapidem, Cotes du Roussillon Villages Latour – $25
Imported by MacArthur Beverages.  This wine is a blend of mostly Syrah with some Grenache and Carignan.  Alcohol 14.5 %.  This wine is still primary with syrah dominated flavors, roast earth, and black flavors in the finish.  The wine is athletic in a good sense and without heavy weight.  With air it took on controlled ripeness, a little glycerin, and a savory pepper note that made way to a powdery black finish.  ***(*) 2016-2026.


2006 Villa Mongalli, Della Cima, Sagrantino di Montefalco – $
Imported by Weygandt-Metzler.  This wine is 100% Sagrantino.  Alcohol 14.5%.  This wine offered up strong flavors of black mineral fruit that hit the back of the throat with power.  It took on licorice, hints of tobacco, polished wood, and even more minerality.  The acidity was integrated with some chunky, ripe tannins.  ***(*) Now-2029?


Italian Variety

Biodynamic vineyards in Liguria provide the source for the  2009 Tenuta Selvadolce, Rucantu’, Pigato, Riviera Ligure di Ponente.  This “orange” wine was evocative of the fall and a pleasure to smell.  From the region of the very famous Tenuta San Guido comes the Bordeaux blend of the 2008 Donna Olimpia 1898, Bolgheri.  The blend is apparent with the greenhouse infused aromas and flavors.  This wine tastes of cooler fruit but should develop nicely for another few years.  The 2005 Tenuta Alzatura, Sagrantino di Montefalco is from a region I really enjoy and want to explore further.  Sagrantino seems to stand up to oak quite well providing both strong flavors and wood box notes.  I find the combination irresistible though I have yet to drink a properly mature example.  These wines were purchased at MacArthur Beverages.


2009 Tenuta Selvadolce, Rucantu’, Pigato, Riviera Ligure di Ponente – $19
Imported by Williams Corner Wine.  This wine is 100% Pigato sourced from vines planted in 1975.  It was fermented in barrique with indigenous yeasts then aged for eight months.  Alcohol 13%.  The color was a medium fall  yellow.  The nose was aromatic with finely scented  notes of fallen orchard fruit and skin contact.  In the mouth was a round start followed by some glycerin in the middle.  There was toast notes, some yeast then minerals.  The acidity built on the sides of the tongue and throat.  The wine had a firm underpinning.  ** Now-2016.


2008 Donna Olimpia 1898, Bolgheri – $19
Imported by The Rare Wine Co.  This wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, and Cabernet Franc.  Alcohol 14.5%.  The nose revealed greenhouse inflused aromas of black fruit.  There were cool, redder fruit flavors in the mouth which developed ripeness.  There was a modern middle with integrated acidity and greenhouse flavors followed by an expansive finish.  The wine became a bit creamy.  This is still young but on the cusp of developing maturity.  **(*) 2015-2022.


2005 Tenuta Alzatura, Sagrantino di Montefalco – $28
Imported by Excelsior Wine & Spirits.  This wine is 100% Sagrantino which was aged for 16 months in barrique.  Alcohol 14.5%.  The attractive nose revealed wood box aromas, spices, and blacker fruit.  In the mouth there was a strong depth to the flavor but the wine remained clearly young.  There was some maturity to the flavors along with saltiness and dried herbs.  The flavors became brighter and dry in the finish where the thick, very fine tannins of the powerful structure came forth. Nice flavor but needs more time in the cellar. ***(*) 2017-2032.