Sagrantino di Montefalco: An Umbrian Treasure between Tradition and Innovation

Nov 03, 2023Daniele Borgogno
Umbria Sagrantino Montefalco

Sagrantino, an indigenous grape variety from Umbria, especially prevalent in the Montefalco area, has earned an international reputation for its intensity, structure, and aging potential. Montefalco's Sagrantino is not just a wine; it's a narrative of land, tradition, and passion that encapsulates the history and essence of a region. In this article, we will guide you through the discovery of Sagrantino, exploring its origins, distinctive characteristics, and the secrets that make it a beloved and sought-after wine worldwide.

The Sagrantino grape is ancient, its origins shrouded in mystery but deeply rooted in the history and culture of Umbria, particularly the Montefalco area. Its story is steeped in legends and theories, some of which connect it to Byzantine monks or medieval pilgrims. Initially used for making sweet, dried wines (passito), which were dried for at least two months on straw mats, Sagrantino has undergone a significant transformation, becoming a symbol of winemaking excellence.

In the 1970s, some innovative producers began experimenting with making a dry version of Sagrantino, a radical change from the tradition of sweet wine. This evolution led to the creation of Sagrantino di Montefalco DOCG, a wine that fully expresses the grape's power and complexity. The DOCG status, obtained in 1992, marked a turning point for Sagrantino, placing it among the great Italian red wines. Producing Sagrantino requires attention and care. Late harvesting and meticulous selection of grapes are essential. The winemaking process involves a long maceration to extract the maximum from the tannins and aromatic compounds. Aging, often in oak barrels, allows the wine to soften and develop aromatic complexity. Producing Sagrantino requires dedication and precision. It needs a maturation process in the cellar and bottle aging to fully express its unique character. This process ensures that the wine fully develops its aromas and structure, with a minimum aging of 37 months, including 12 in wood and 4 in the bottle for the dry version, while the sweet version requires "only" a total of 37 months, with 4 in the bottle.

Sagrantino in Umbria

This wine needs to mature for so long because the Sagrantino grape is known for its intense concentration of polyphenols, particularly tannins, which give the wine a robust structure and considerable aging potential. Wines produced from this grape exhibit a deep, almost impenetrable color, and an aromatic profile that ranges from ripe red fruit to spicy and earthy notes.

With the exponential increase in quality from producers of Montefalco Sagrantino, this wine has secured a prominent place on the international stage, becoming an ambassador for Italian wine across the world. Its uniqueness and quality have made it appreciated by critics and enthusiasts alike, contributing to strengthening the image of Italian wines abroad. Montefalco Sagrantino pairs perfectly with intense and flavorful dishes. It is ideal with red meats, game, aged cheeses, and traditional Umbrian dishes. Its power and structure make it an ideal companion for rich foods.

Invecchiamento Sagrantino in legno
Montefalco Sagrantino represents an excellent example of how tradition and innovation can coexist, giving life to wines of extraordinary expression. We invite readers to explore this unique variety through these Sagrantino selections curated for you:

Sagrantino Montefalco Passito Colpetrone
Montefalco Sagrantino Passito DOCG (375ml) - Còlpetrone
The Montefalco Sagrantino Passito DOCG from Còlpetrone is a sweet and structured wine, with intense sweetness balanced by vigorous tannins. Its production follows traditional grape drying methods, and aging in oak offers an aromatic range that spans from ripe fruit to spices and coffee. This passito wine pairs splendidly with aged cheeses and dark chocolate, providing an ideal tasting experience for festive moments.

Montefalco Sagrantino Memoira DOCG - Còlpetrone
The Montefalco Sagrantino Memoira DOCG from Còlpetrone is an exhilarating red wine that celebrates the richness of Umbria. Its deep ruby color foreshadows a varied olfactory experience of red fruits, spices, vanilla, dried fruit, and touches of chocolate. On the palate, it offers an enveloping taste experience, with freshness balancing power and spiced tannins that bring a seductive complexity. A true symphony of flavors that tells the story of the passion and craftsmanship of its production. Perfect with red meats and aged cheeses, the Memoira is a wine to be experienced intensely, an authentic artistic expression of Sagrantino.

Sagrantino Montefalco Tudernum

Montefalco Sagrantino DOCG - Cantina Tudernum
The Montefalco Sagrantino DOCG from Tudernum is a robust and complex wine, with an aromatic profile of ripe fruit and notes of chocolate and spices. Tannic and structured, it invites a second glass, perfect with intense dishes such as roasts and aged cheeses. The refinement in French oak enriches its complexity, making it shine as an expression of the Umbrian terroir.

Sagrantino Montefalco Sacer 2009
Sagrantino di Montefalco Sacer 2009 - Colpetrone
The Sagrantino di Montefalco Sacer 2009 from Colpetrone is an ideal wine for rich and flavorful dishes. It pairs perfectly with roasted red meats, thanks to its robust tannins, and with aged cheeses, where its aromatic complexity blends with the richness of the cheese. Also excellent with game and truffle dishes, the Sagrantino di Montefalco enhances earthy nuances and intense flavors.

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