Today’s Quick Sip is the 2010 Montefalco Sagrantino from Cantina Fongoli. Winemaker Angelo Fongoli was recently featured on Protocol Wine Studio’s weekly Twitter-based wine education program popularly known as #winestudio. The Sagrantino grape is grown almost exclusively in Italy's Umbria region within the town of Montefalco. The variety produces some of the most bold, assertive, and long-lived wines that I have had an opportunity to experience. With such a description, it should come as no surprise that Sagrantino rates as one of the most tannic grapes out there. “Tiny, very thick skinned with big seeds and late ripening; tightly packed bunches -- lots of foliage, lots of pruning,” is how Angelo describes the Sagrantino grape. For the wines of Cantina Fongoli, Angelo only uses big barrels with older wood, adding, “We don't want to add new smell from new wood in our wine.”
With Sagrantino, a little goes a long way. Take for example the Sangiovese-based Montefalco Rosso blends, a DOC wine considered to be Montefalco Sagrantino’s baby brother. A 10% to 15% addition of Sagrantino in these wines yield robust red blends with a medium-to-firm tannic structure. Montefalco Sagrantino DOCG wines, such as this one, require that 100% Sagrantino be used. So be prepared for purple teeth-staining, fuller-bodied wines with somewhat gum-numbing tannins – wines that beg for well-marbled cuts of beef. For further information and where you can find this wine, please see my tasting notes below.
Cantina Fongoli Secco 2010 Montefalco Sagrantino (SRP $40): This wine pours a medium ruby color. The nose is evocative of dried red berries, earth tones, and baking spice -- namely cinnamon, while the palate is dominated by dark fruit flavors that are delicately intertwined with spice, cedar, black cherries, and a wisp of violet. In the mouth, the wine is full and round with a slightly grainy texture, supported by firm but approachable tannins. The density and firmness is balanced by a good backbone of acidity. This is an overall very satisfying Sagrantino that wants well-marbled rib-eye, grilled lamb chops, or a hearty mushroom like grilled portabellas. For maximum enjoyment, decant for approximately 30 minutes prior to serving. Region: Montefalco, Umbria, Italy. Other info: ABV 14%, aged 30 months in large Slovenian oak barrels, bottle aged another six months in bottle, cork enclosure, imported by Massanois Imports, LLC Washington DC. Click here to find this wine.
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