In the wine world when you think Tuscany, you think Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino, Sangiovese, or maybe Super Tuscans. Say Piedmont and you most likely think about Nebbiolo, which is used 100% in Barolo and Barbaresco, maybe Barbera or Dolcetto. When you think Umbria and wine you most likely think ???? and maybe ????, exactly! Most wine drinkers don’t usually use Umbria and wine in the same sentence. You have probably had an Orvieto but didn’t know it came from Umbria. Say red and you are lost, as we were.
I’m writing this tonight because we, the PJ’s crew, also stumble on wines we didn’t know about. This happened last week with Montefalco Rosso. You’re probably asking, what in the heck is that. Simply put, it’s a DOC you might want to become familiar with if you like Italian wines.
The DOC definition of this wine is, “Montefalco rose must contain between 60% to 70% Sangiovese, along with a requirement of 10% to 15% Sagrantino, and the winemaker’s choice of other red grapes for the remainder (up to 30%). This allowance of other red grapes allows many Umbrian winemakers the ability to beef up their Montefalco rosso with interesting international varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Montefalco rosso must be aged a minimum of 18 months. Many wineries in Montefalco that make profound Sagrantino di Montefalco also make Montefalco rosso. The allowance of between 10% to 15% Sagrantino creates a Sangiovese-based wine with more tannins and body than many other reds of Italy. The result is a Sangiovese with some character and complexity.
I could give you my description of the wine, which might be, “It’s really good” but I think Kerin O’Keefe does a better job. She reviews all Italian wines for Wine Enthusiast Magazine. Prior to her appointment with Wine Enthusiast, O’Keefe, who moved to Italy in 1991, wrote regularly on Italian wine for Decanter, as well as for World of Fine Wine and on WineSearcher.com. She writes about the one we currently stock, the
2011 Antonelli Montefalco Rosso;
“Vibrant and savory, this blend of 70% Sangiovese, 15% Sagrantino and 15% Merlot delivers succulent black cherry, crushed plum, black pepper, grilled herb and mocha flavors alongside firm but velvety tannins. It’s well balanced with surprisingly fresh acidity for the hot vintage. It’s already drinking well but will be even better after 2016. We invite you to come in and explore, maybe even buy a bottle of this wine, cost is $16.95, and you can find it just to the left of the Barbera and below the Barolos in our new “Umbria” section.
Raise a glass with friends and don’t critique my spelling…..UNTIL NEXT TIME.