On the Road with the Grape Guy

On the Road with the Grape Guy is a on-going feature that follows me from event to event ... I post my thoughts, feelings and reviews of what happened and what I tasted ... basically it is here that I review the events I attend and the things that thrilled me.

Anteprima Sagrantino: Spoleto (White)

07 Sep 2022

(May 2022) … The DOC of Spoleto was recognized in 2011, it joined Grechetto and Sagrantino as a historically native varieties of Umbria. In 2021 there were 37 winemakers making DOC Spoleto (up 5 from the previous year).

Observations and Comments …

Spoleto needs to stay out of a barrel, lees is ok, as it helps to give it texture; but barrel ruins its delicacy and vibrancy - this is not Chardonnay - it should be treated more like a Sauvgnon Blanc – Fumé it if you wish, but keep it on the lesser side; there are only special circumstances where oak can be used more liberally, but these are very special circumstances and require a deft hand – don’t think you always have both. Stick with the fresher versions.

Benedetti & Grigi 2020 Spoleto Trebbiano Spoletino DOC ... (*** ½)
Bocale 2021 Spoleto Trebbiano Spoletino DOC ... (*** ½+)
Colle Uncinano 2021 Spoleto Trebbiano Spoletino DOC ... (*** ½)
Le Thadee 2019 Spoleto Trebbiano Spoletino DOC .+128+ (barrel sample) ... Good
Le Thadee 2020 Spoleto Trebbiano Spoletino DOC .+128+ ... (*** ½+)
Le Cimate 2020 Spoleto Trebbiano Spoletino DOC ... (*** ½+)
Pardi 2020 Spoleto Trebbiano Spoletino DOC Spoletino ... (*** ½+)
Pardi 2021 Spoleto Trebbiano Spoletino DOC ... (*** ½)
Perticaia 2021 Spoleto Trebbiano Spoletino DOC ... (*** ½+)
Perticaia 2019 Spoleto Trebbiano Spoletino DOC Del Posto ... (*** ½)
Scacciadiavoli 2020 Spoleto Trebbiano Spoletino DOC ... (*** ½+)
Valdangius 2020 Spoleto Trebbiano Spoletino DOC Campo de Pico ... (*** ½)

FOUR STARS and Above (with notes)

Antonelli San Marco 2021 Spoleto Trebbiano Spoletino DOC Trebium
The Italians call this style "crispy", like biting into a crisp apple soaked in lemon juice with hints of stone all around - very refreshing. (****)

Terre San Felice 2021 Spoleto Trebbiano Spoletino DOC
Pretty stony quality with river rock and lemon zest backed by good acidity and a biting/bitter finish – this beauty is for a patio on a hot day (****)



Anteprima Sagrantino: Sagrantino DOC (on market)

25 Aug 2022

(May 2022) … Some of the wines below are barrel samples, and therefore are given a Good / Better / Best rating for potential in the future. Any wine that is finished and in bottle is given a star rating.

Observations and Comments …

The best versions of these wines have an approachability early, which is rare, but getting less so, and that’s great news for the Sagrantino brand. Instead of having to sit on your bottles for 20+ years and hoping the fruit outlasts the tannins, we get to have our fruit and drink them too. The key seems to be pulling back on extraction and trying to keep those tannins at bay. Many producers are finding a way.

A Quick Note About the 2014 Vintage Wines: 2014 was a horrible vintage (according to many winemakers in the area), but they are starting to come around and be drinkable at a very early age; yes they taste older than they should, but then you get a feel for what older Sagrantino tastes like sooner. If you have any 2014 Sagrantino, pull them out and drink ‘em up.

Adanti 2014 Sagrantino DOCG ... (*** ½+)
Benedetti & Grigi 2016 Sagrantino DOCG ... (*** ½+)
Cocco Ilaria 2016 Sagrantino DOCG ... (*** ½)
Colle Ciocco 2016 Sagrantino DOCG Phonsano ... (*** ½+)
Di Filippo 2017 Sagrantino DOCG ... (*** ½+)
Fattoria Colsanto 2015 Sagrantino DOCG ... (*** ½+)
La Fonte 2016 Sagrantino DOCG Collepoppo ... (*** ½+)
Le Cimate 2015 Sagrantino DOCG ... (*** ½+)
Luca di Tomaso 2016 Sagrantino DOCG (barrel sample) ... Good
Romanelli 2016 Sagrantino DOCG Medeo ... (*** ½+)
Tenuta Bellafonte 2015 Sagrantino DOCG Collenottolo ... (*** ½+)

Tenuta Castelbuono Lunelli 2016 Sagrantino DOCG ... (*** ½)
Tenuta di Saragano 2016 Sagrantino DOCG ... (*** ½+)
Tenute Baldo 2015 Sagrantino DOCG ... (*** ½+)
Terre de la Custodia 2016 Sagrantino DOCG Exubera ... (*** ½+)
Terre de' Trinci 2015 Sagrantino DOCG ... (*** ½)
Terre San Felice 2017 Sagrantino DOCG ... (*** ½+)
Tudernum 2015 Sagrantino DOCG Fidenzio ... (*** ½+)

FOUR STARS and Above (with notes)

Antonelli San Marco 2016 Sagrantino DOCG
Leathery and fruity with some cocoa-strawberry notes and gripping tannins. (****)

Briziarelli 2016 Sagrantino DOCG Vitruvio
There's a real mocha note in here, plus some caffe latte and even smoky characteristics, but it’s all in that Starbucks kinda way – interesting wine, fun to drink and great with a coffee rubbed steak. (****)

Bocale 2017 Sagrantino DOCG
The fruit explodes here: cherry, mocha-blackberry and cassis with a smoky component to make it interesting. (****)

Colpetrone 2014 Sagrantino DOCG
Expressive, but also subdued: mocha with some blackberry and smoke; not over-powering, nor are the tannins over-whelming (****)

La Veneranda 2017 Sagrantino DOCG
Another mocha/coffee version of Sagrantino that's a pleasure to drink (****)

Perticaia 2015 Sagrantino DOCG
Now that's a very flavourful Sagrantino. There's a juicy character upfront, and a smokiness to the finish. The fruit is dark and almost lush before the tannins take over. (****+)

Tabarrini 2017 Sagrantino DOCG
Tannins are there, but not over-powering, it's the fruit that sneaks up on you and takes over. There’s also it's dark and bittersweet chocolate on the finish. (****)


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