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On the Road with the Grape Guy

Anteprima Sagrantino 2016 - Good Better Best

16 Apr 2020

(February 2020) ... MONTEFALCO – For the second time I am doing the Anteprima for Sagrantino and thrilled to be back for comparative purposes … As a side note, Sagrantino has been DOC since 1979 and achieved DOCG status in 1992.  Since this is my second time I would like to note that it is always nice to see the way a region treats a grape over of a number of years in a row – with any luck I’ll be back to taste the 2017, 2018 and beyond to find out more about what makes Sagrantino such a special grape variety and witness its evolution.  Throughout the week I also visited with a number of producers to sample their wares and talk about the region, the vintage and the grape … those reports and observations will come at a later point (so keep watching the website or social media).

The Rules of Sagrantino …

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 4 months in bottle.

The Vintage Verdict …

2016 was an even more spectacular vintage than was the 2015 even though both are considered 5-star vintages (meaning: outstanding). If you thought everyone was excited about the former, watch out, 2016 has some jaw-dropping wines: these wines are out-and-out powerhouses. By using modern techniques and opting for the use of large wood many producers are learning to soften and curb what makes Sagrantino harsh and tough, to create a wine to drink sooner. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a very age-worthy wine with lots of acidity, tannins and ballsy dark fruit, but it’s amazing what backing off from new barrique can do for a wine and creating less juice to wood ratio. 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 … but I’m impressed to see winemakers embracing ways to soften it and make it more approachable sooner without stripping the wine of its character.

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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 practice of giving final scores to these wines.

The wines for the tasting were broken down into three categories: Barrel Sample, Bottle Sample and Finished … this year I treated everything the same going with my Good / Better / Best approach to “scoring”; besides these are definitely wines best rated on their future potential.


Good Potential

Arnaldo Caprai 2016 Montefalco Sagrantino DOCG “Collepiano”
Benedetti & Grigi 2016 Montefalco Sagrantino DOCG
Tabarrini 2016 Montefalco Sagrantino DOCG “Colle Alle Macchie”
Tenuta Bellafonte 2016 Montefalco Sagrantino DOCG “Collenottolo”
Tenuta Colfalco 2016 Montefalco Sagrantino DOCG
Valdangius 2016 Montefalco Sagrantino DOCG
Vignabaldo Group 2016 Montefalco Sagrantino DOCG “Tenuta Baldo”


Better PotentialMontefalco Banner

Arnaldo Caprai 2016 Montefalco Sagrantino DOCG “Valdimaggio”
Fattoria Le Mura Saracene – Goretti 2016 Montefalco Sagrantino DOCG
Il Torrione 2016 Montefalco Sagrantino DOCG
Le Cimate 2016 Montefalco Sagrantino DOCG
Luca Di Tomaso 2016 Montefalco Sagrantino DOCG
Moretti Omero 2016 Montefalco Sagrantino DOCG
Moretti Omero 2016 Montefalco Sagrantino DOCG “Vignalunga”
Perticaia 2016 Montefalco Sagrantino DOCG
Romanelli 2016 Montefalco Sagrantino DOCG
Scacciadiavoli 2016 Montefalco Sagrantino DOCG
Tabarrini 2016 Montefalco Sagrantino DOCG “Campo Alla Cerqua”
Tabarrini 2016 Montefalco Sagrantino DOCG “Colle Grimaldesco”
Tenuta Alzatura-Cecchi 2016 Montefalco Sagrantino DOCG
Tudernum 2016 Montefalco Sagrantino DOCG “Fidenzio”


Best Potential

Adanti 2016 Montefalco Sagrantino DOCG “Arquata”
Antonelli 2016 Montefalco Sagrantino DOCG
Montioni 2016 Montefalco Sagrantino DOCG
Montioni 2016 Montefalco Sagrantino DOCG “Magia”

 

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