On the Road with the Grape Guy

Visit to Briziarelli (Umbria, Italy)

22 Dec 2020

(February 25, 2020) ... The winery established itself in 2000 in Montefalco (Bevagna) they started as brick makers in 1906 and planted vines in Marsciano (in southern Italy) – it's a 45-hectare farm of which 25 hectares are planted to vines ... I was also thrilled to see traditional method sparkling wine being made here – and although they were not supposed to pour it for us (because the focus was supposed to be on Trebbiano Spoletino and Sangrantino) we were quite persuasive ... because, as everybody knows, all good tastings begin with bubbles. The tour of the winery was impressive and I have some pictures posted below, but first ...

The Wines ...

2016 Rosé de Noir (113) "Centotreidici"
BriziarelliThe 113 on the label changes every year and coincides with the age of the company based on the vintage. Made from 100% Pinot Noir this rosé style sparkler is aged 36 months on lees. Dry raspberry, slightly earthy with lemon and good acidity on the finish.

2018 Dunarobba - Bianco Umbria
70% Viognier / 30% Chardonnay – this wine has hot vintage-like characteristics such as tropical fruit, but all seems muted by the barrel notes due to the oak fermentation, needs time to integrate the oak.

2018 Rosso Matone (Bianco)
The wine's name will soon change to Bianco Matone – but this is the white partner to their Rosso (red). Made from 100% Trebbiano Spoletino this pleasant white has fresh tropicality and lemon drop, it's juicy, lively and there's even a tickle of oak paired with nice acidity on the finish. There's also a pleasant floral note with a little hint of honey.

2018 Dunarobba - Rosso Umbria
A 50/50 blend of Sangiovese and Merlot aged both 12 months in stainless steel and another 12 months in bottle. Silky on the palate with good dark fruit and subtle smoky notes. Cassis and blackberry dominate in the fruit department along with good acidity... It's a nice easy drinking red.

2015 Rosso Matone (Rosso Riserva)
As mentioned previously Rosso Matone is the original red and what gives its white counterpart its name, but this was the first wine under this name. The blend has 60% Sangiovese, 25% Shiraz and 15% Sagrantino with a total of 18 months in oak. The Shiraz gives it a real peppery-spicy kick, but there's also great dark/black fruits that are well balanced and incredibly drinkable.

2015 Montefalco Sagrantino
This 100% Sagrantino is the standard bearer of their wines, it spends 12 months in barrique with another 21 months in stainless steel and 6 more months in bottle before release: smokey, earthy, black fruit with mid-weight tannins and bittersweet cocoa on the finish.

2015 Virtruvio - Montefalco Sagrantino
A “reserva” Sagrantino spending a full 24 months in oak and another 24 in stainless steel (all French oak) – the 2015 vintage allowed the fruit to absorb all that oak intake and spit out soft, smooth almost silky mouthfeel, tannins and rugged and bite back, but that fruit rises to the top with a complex structure... It's still a little rough around the edges, but time is on its side.


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