Umbrian wines have only just begun trickling into mainstream wine enthusiasts' choices, primarily as a result of the recognition of the region's signature Sagrantino wines, considered fairly new red wines despite their long history. The cultivation of Montefalco's indigenous grape variety Sagrantino dates back to 1549, when the Benedictine monks used it to create a sacramental sweet wine.
Montefalco is primarily a DOC for Sangiovese reds blended with a little (i.e. 10-15%) of the local Sagrantino. Vinified alone, this latter grape has its own DOCG (the highest-ranking category of Italian wine denominations): Sagrantino di Montefalco from 100% Sagrantino.
The Sagrantino grape is grown primarily in the village of Montefalco and its surrounding areas, with less than a thousand hectares in the hands of about 60 producers. Such small production also explains why this wine is not widely known outside of Italy.
The Pardi family has been making wine since 1919, but only began estate-bottling with the 2003 vintage when the latest generation decided to revive their great-grandfathers' traditions.
Their Montefalco Sagrantino is dark ruby red. Intense nose, with a mix of raspberry and cherry, hints of sweet spices and tobacco. Full-bodied, rich and smooth with dark, ripe fruit, blackberry and plum. Fine, sweet tannins despite the fact that the Sagrantino grape has one of the highest tannic levels of any variety in the world.
Aged in stainless steel tanks for 9-12 months, in oak casks for 18 months and in bottle for 6-8 months further.
Ideal pairing with strong cheeses like Pecorino, black truffles, red meat and game. Best served at about 16-18°C.
The 2012 vintage of Montefalco Sagrantino by Fratelli Pardi was rated 90/100 points by Wine Spectator and it has scooped the Tre Bicchieri award by Gambero Rosso (generally accepted as the most authoritative guide to Italian wines). We are confident that the newly released 2013 vintage will also find favour with wine experts and professionals.
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