On the Road with the Grape Guy

Anteprima Sagrantino 2015 : Good Better Best

19 Feb 2019


(February 18, 2019) ... MONTEFALCO – I am for the first time doing the Anteprima for Sagrantino – this is a tough wine that requires years of age to round out and come into its own, I have been at dinners this week where producers have opened wines from 2008 that are just starting to come around and one 2002 that was beautiful but still with acidity to blow the mind. It has been an eye-opening experience.

As a rule during these anteprima I do not score unfinished wines (aka: barrel / tank samples), too much can go wrong between barrel and bottle that can compromise or otherwise change the wine … if that happens that score from a barrel sample can come back to bite me in the ass if the finished wine isn’t as I perceived it from barrel – so I have just stopped the practise of giving final scores to these wines.

Here at the Sagrantino tasting it is a bit of a different story:  First the wines need 37 months before they can be released as official “Montefalco Sagrantino DOCG”, of which at least 12 months has to be in oak (and I have read at least 4 months in bottle) … 2015 was a beautiful vintage and everyone here is excited for these wines to hit shelves, the thing is, because of the tannins and acidity these wines need lots of time in both that wood and bottle, then an even further 7+ years in a cellar to really begin to appreciate these wines – some literature refers to these wines as “astringent” (harshly biting) and when young they definitely have a grip and grit that may be hard to get around.  That all said you feel every ounce of these wines on your tongue during the tasting (45 in total plus, 10 Passito: sweet wines), but the good ones really show through and have an elegance you can project forward …

The wines are broken down into three categories: Barrel sample, Bottle sample and Finished … so in keeping with my policy of scoring only “finished” wines I will treat the barrel and bottle as both unfinished wine and will be rating the wines on future potential on a scale of Good – Better – Best ... plus at the very bottom of the page are some fully scored finished wines and my ranking for Passito wines as well.

Good PotentialMontefalco Sign

Adanti 2015 Montefalco Sagrantino
Arnaldo Caprai 2015 Montefalco Sagrantino “Valdimaggio”
Colle Ciocco – Spacchetti 2015 Montefalco Sagrantino
Di Filippo 2015 Montefalco Sagrantino “Etnico”
Fattoria Colsanto 2015 Montefalco Sagrantino
Pardi 2015 Montefalco Sagrantino “Sacratino”
Tabarrini 2015 Montefalco Sagrantino “Colle alle Macchie”
Valdangius 2015 Montefalco Sagrantino “Fortunato”
Vignabaldo Group 2015 Montefalco Sagrantino

Better Potential

Bocale 2015 Montefalco Sagrantino
Ilaria Cocco 2015 Montefalco Sagrantino
Moretti Omero 2015 Montefalco Sagrantino
Perticaia 2015 Montefalco Sagrantino
Terre de Custodia 2015 Montefalco Sagrantino

Best Potential

Le Climate 2015 Montefalco Sagrantino “Donna Giulia”

Montefalco Sign 2Scored (Finished) Wines …

Lungarotti 2015 Montefalco Sagrantino … (*** ½)
Romanelli 2015 Montefalco Sagrantino … (****)
Romanelli 2015 Montefalco Sagrantino "Madeo" … (****+)
Scacciadiavoli 2015 Montefalco Sagrantino … (****)
Tenuta Bellafonte 2015 Montefalco Sagrantino “Collenottolo” … (*** ½)
Tenuta Rocca di Fabbri 2015 Montefalco Sagrantino … (*** ½)

Passito …

Made from 100% Sagratino left to dry out on mats for a minimum of 2 months, the grapes are pressed and left to ferment with the grape skins – if you can imagine it makes a particular type of “sweet” wine that has the strange dichotomy of coming across dry because of the tannin structure of the Sagrantino grape … but the balance is to keep the acidity within the wine. The wines also must be released a minimum of 37 months from December 1st of the vintage year. Of the 10 Passitos tried these were my top four – two with potential, two with scores:

Dionigi 2015 Montefalco Sagrantino Passito … Better Potential
Ilaria Cocco 2015 Montefalco Sagrantino Passito “Fontiola” … Good Potential

Terre de la Custodia 2015 Montefalco Sagrantino Passito “Melanto” … (*** ½+)
Valdangius 2015 Montefalco Sagrantino Passito “Angelina” … (*** ½)



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