~ Hilltop Montefalco dominates the surrounding vineyards ~



There you stand, your eyes closed.  Beneath your wiggling feet you sense the unsteady, tumbled indentations of the cobblestones. You notice the bustle of the Piazza, almost audible. The nell of the music from the Church Tower is distinctive; it’s sweet echo reverberates from the fortress walls.  The waft of the tartufi that permeates the hamlet’s wares from bread, to cheese and salumi is mysterious, almost elusive.  You feel the fresh, crisp autumn air heavy with the sweet smell of harvest. And as you slowly open your eyes, the expanse of the Piazza envelops you.  The enoteca, the cafe, the church and the museums, each heavy with the differing influences of centuries old architecture and then faintly in the distance, the impressive walls of the village that once offered protection from the Etruscans, the Romans, and the Lombards unfolds before you. You could be in any hilltop Tuscan village; but you’re not. 

Welcome, to Montefalco. 
 

Umbria is rich with treasures.  From Assisi, Spoleto, Deruta, Orvieto, and Castiglione del Lago, Umbria abounds with culture, religion, art, ceramics and gastronomy.  Nowhere is this more prevalent than in Montefalco.  It wasn’t that long ago that Montefalco was simply another picturesque hill town, little known outside Umbria.  However, in 1991, when the local red wine Sagrantino achieved DOCG status, that slowly began to change.  Today Montefalco is squarely in the cross hairs of Italian wine lovers around the world thanks in no small part to it’s towering wine, Sagrantino. 
 
The Sagrantino DOCG zone encompasses much of Montefalco and a small portion of the commune of Bevagna. It is one of the smallest DOCG areas in Italy with approximately 660 hectacres of vineyards shared by about 25 producers, most of whom are close knit family farms. It’s that size that has hampered Sagrantino’s rise to prominence. However, despite the fact that Sangiovese, not Sagrantino is the most widely planted grape in Umbria, it’s Sagrantino that’s inextricably linked to Montefalco.



~ One of the many quaint cobblestone streets in Montefalco ~

DOCG Regulations

Relative to other Italian appellations, the regulatory guidelines pertaining to Sagrantino are fairly simple.  Law provides that Sagrantino di Montefalco must be comprised of 100% Sagrantino grapes sourced from the delimited zone and must be aged for at least 36 months before release; 12 of which must be in oak.  There are no provisions in the law for “Riserva” bottlings.
 
DOC Regulations
 
In addition to Sagrantino, the area also produces another excellent wine called Montefalco Rosso.  The blending laws are more liberal for Montefalco Rosso.  Typically, these wines are 70% Sangiovese, 15% Sagrantino and 15% Merlot although Cabernet can also be used and blends vary slightly from producer to producer and vintage by vintage. 
 
 
In the past, I’ve written several articles centered around these Umbrian wines.  However, over the last few weeks,  I set out to explore the region of Montefalco in greater detail.  This report focuses on the main producers of the region and is dedicated to Sagrantino and it’s younger brother Montefalco Rosso.
 
Colpetrone

One of the largest estates in Montefalco, Colpetrone has recently set a keen eye toward increasing quality.  As of 2007, Riccardo Cotarella is on board as consulting winemaker and the results are already noticeable.  The Colpetrone estate is comprised of 63 hectares of vines, 35 of which are dedicated to Sagrantino production.  The estate Sagrantino is crafted from vineyard blocks throughout the property and is aged for 12 months in French barrique and then 18 months in bottle prior to release.



~ Stainless steel fermentors at the Colpetrone Estate ~

 

The 2007 Colpetrone Sagrantino is a lovely purple trending to black in the glass.  Aromas of black fruits, leather, tobacco and mineral are accented with a smokey essence. On the palate, the power of the wine is evident, but there’s also a degree of sophistication that speaks of Cotarella’s influence. The weight of the wine is balanced well by the rich, ripe fruit. Black pepper, tobacco, earth and spices contribute. The ripe tannins and acids assert themselves toward the finish but don’t diminish the wine’s elegance. While delicious now, I’ve no doubt it will become more intriguing with cellar time. A great value. 92 points, about $28.



~ 2007 Colpetrone Sagrantino di Montefalco ~
 
The next wine we’ll examine is simply called “Sagrantino Gold”.   Since no Riserva provisions exist, some producers have crafted special selection wines, single vineyard designates or celebratory cuvees.  In this case, the fruit destined for Colpetrone’s Sagrantino Gold comes from two vineyards on the estate that benefit from optimal exposure called San Marco and Santa Maria del Fico.  Only the best selection of fruit from these two vineyards is reserved for the Gold bottling.  “Gold” spends 12 months in French barrique before resting 24 months in bottle prior to release; 6 months longer than regulations require. 
 
~ Montefalco is dotted with tiny courtyards and meandering alleys ~
 
The 2004 “Gold” Sagrantino is a saturated black color in the decanter where it sat for almost 90 minutes prior to dinner. As I sat with this wine, over sausage & mushroom risotto, it became evident that the wine was special.  But one term kept coming to mind:  Massive. The aromas off the nose are rich with smoke, blackberry jam, roasted coffee and tobacco. I absolutely loved the way this smelled.   On the palate, this is a brooding massively proportioned behemoth of a Sagrantino.  The fruit and coffee flavors are detectable and intense. Equally intense are the drying sensations from the tannins.  This is going to take a long cellar stay to resolve some of these but when it happens, I think the wine will be amazing. The pieces seem to be in balance but this needs a “Do not open until 2024” sticker on the capsule.  So tough to pinpoint this, but 94-97 points.  About $45.



~ “Gold” Sagrantino from 2 separate vineyards on the Colpetrone Estate ~



~ Sloping Hillside Vineyards on the Colpetrone Estate ~

 

Tabarrini

While Tabarrini may be a relative newcomer to the world of Sagrantino, under the leadership of family proprietor and winemaker Giampaolo Tabarrini, they have quickly become a dynamic force in Montefalco.  Giampaolo is the 4th generation to run his family’s farm and he has expanded the operations and the reach of the winery abroad.  Last year,  I sat down with Giampaolo for an extensive interview.  Recently I circled back with him to see what the recent vintages in Montefalco hold in store. 



~ Winemaker Giampaolo Tabarrini ~

From their 18 hectares in Montefalco, Tabarrini produces a staggering array of wines including three amazing Sagrantino.  We’ve spotlighted certain selections here. 

The first wine is 2006 Colle Grimaldesco.  In the decanter, the wine is deep blackish violet – as we’ve come to expect with Tabarrini’s Sagrantino. It’s impenetrable. On the nose, the wine displays intense perfumes. Dark, smokey fruit, tar, graphite, licorice and earth mingle together nicely. On the palate the wine is more restrained. There is a huge core of ripe blackberry fruit, with accompanying notes of leather. It is full bodied and a bit rustic, with loads of ripe tannins and acids that shorten up the finish a bit. This is a seriously constructed wine and I think it will have a glorious rebirth. That said, it needs some extended cellar time to get there. Well worth the tariff, but I’d cellar 8-10 years. Approximately 91-94 points. About $32.




~ Colle Grimaldesco is stylistically midway between the masculine Macchie & the Elegant Cerqua ~
 
Tabarrini’s 2006 Colle alle Macchie Sagrantino is a beast.  The first thing that strikes you is the color. It is an impenetrable black. It is the darkest wine I think I have ever seen. Sagrantino is known for the deep colors that can be extracted from its skins, but this is something else altogether. 
 
In the glass, the taster is treated to an absolute array of aromas. Huge, crushed, black fruit aromas are rich and almost tactile. There is fresh leather, pipe tobacco, sweet spices, lavender, smoke and fennel. The French oak is evident, but elegantly integrated. It frames, without being intrusive. The wine is so complex in its aroma that it almost begs you not to sip. But you won’t have the discipline…




~ Vigneto Colle alle Macchie ~

In the mouth, the wine is as big as you would expect. Everything is elevated, boisterous without being pretentious. It mirrors Giampaolo’s personality. There are masses of black fruits that cover your palate. Fully ripened and concentrated, yet fresh and invigorating. The fruit is accented by pipe tobacco, gravelly brown turned earth, a floral tonality, and hints of espresso and licorice. It is spellbinding.

The substantial tannins noticeably assert themselves on the finish. They are chewy, and represent a forceful presence on the inside of your cheeks.  An absolutely eye opening and monumental wine. 98 points, about $45. 



~ Black wine & Brute Power ~

   

Finally, the 2007 Campo Alla Cerqua Sagrantino di Montefalco is a massive wine. In the decanter, the wine is bright black with purple reflections. The nose leaps from the glass. I could smell this wine from a few feet away. Flowers, minerals, crushed black fruits and lavender emerge from the glass. In the mouth, the ripe fruit is encased in a powdery, dusty essence that is a tactile sensation I’ve not experienced in a wine before. It’s unique, delicious and completely mouth watering. The flavors follow the nose, with length and intensity in wonderful balance. It is surely elegant, and more feminine. It’s graceful. Stunning, and worth stocking up on.   It’s my favorite of the three. 95 points, about $40.



~ Campo Alla Cerqua Sagrantino ~



~ Campo alla Cerqua is named after the massive oak tree that stands watch over the vineyard ~

 

 

Paolo Bea

Hands on. Boutique. Micromanagement.  Passion that approaches radicalism.  These are all terms that have been laid at the feet of the Paolo Bea winery and they wear the badges proudly.  The unassuming patriarch, Paolo Bea, still toils around the cantina and vineyards but the driving force behind Bea’s wines now lies with Paolo’s son, Giampiero.  Old school technology is employed at Paolo Bea.  By that I mean, traditional methods carried out with clean winemaking precision. The results are amazing; almost startlingly so.  Insistence on organic methods, manual harvesting, native yeasts, no filtration and exclusive grande botte aging are the hallmarks at Bea.  A true boutique producer, with less than half of their property under vine, the Bea wines are sometimes difficult to locate.  But let perseverance be your friend and you will be richly rewarded.



~ Barrel Aging Cantina at Paolo Bea ~
 (Photo courtesy of AntiquaTours.com)
This first wine we tasted from Paolo Bea was their grand effort, the 2006 Pagliaro Sagrantino.   This is a single vineyard Sagrantino from the vineyard of the same name and is aged for 12 months in stainless steel, 24 months in Slavonian Botte and then 9 months in bottle prior to release.   This sort of neutral aging to allow the terroir to express itself is Bea’s hallmark and punctuated by their philosophy:   “Nature should be observed, heard and understood, but never dominated.”  



~ Proprietor Giampiero Bea ~

 

The 2006 Pagliaro is a deep garnet red.  It’s almost black in color but strikes a slightly lighter note than many other Sagrantino; clearly an impact of the large barrel aging.  The nose of the wine is nothing short of awesome. There’s smoked meat, bacon, leather and rich black berries that are persistent and impressive. In the mouth the wine is deftly balanced. The flavors follow the nose with rich wild berry, tobacco, smoke, and slight chocolate spice on the finish. Absolutely amazing.  I can’t get enough of this.  96 points.  About $60 and worth every penny.



~ Paolo Bea Pagliaro: The wine was decanted for 90 minutes ~

Next up was the 2006 Pipparello, a Montefalco Rosso Riserva comprised of 60% Sangiovese, 25% Montepulciano and 15% Sagrantino from the single vineyard of the same name.  Pipparello is impressive. This is a deep medium brick color with a pretty fade to violet and then copper at the rim.  The aromas of the wine focus on ripe cherry, with leather and anise poking through.  Decanted for 60 minutes, this was not as exuberant as the Pagliaro. On the palate, the wine is full bodied and very tannic – but with wonderful texture and balance between the fruit and acids.  A large core of leather coated cherry takes center stage here but the wall of tannins really shortens the experience.  Aged 24 months in Slavonian botte before 6 months bottle aging. This could easily cellar for 10-15 years and is a more substantial wine than some of the Sagrantino I’ve had.  93 points, about $45. 



~ Pipparello is a rustic, delicious blend ~



~ The Tasting “Room” at Paolo Bea ~
(Photo courtesy of AntiquaTours.com)

Scacciadiavoli

Founded in 1884, Scacciadiavoli, “Cast out the Devils”, takes it’s name from a 19th Century recluse exorcist who lived in the small village bordering the farm’s vineyards. He was known for using the local wine while performing his ritualistic exorcism duties on poor souls ridden with demons. It is from this dark folklore that the winery takes it’s name.




Today, Scacciadiavoli covers 130 hectares, about 35 of which are planted to vineyards. Owned by the Pambuffetti family since the 1954 purchase by Great Grandfather Amilcare Pambuffetti, the farm is now in the hands of the 4th generation grand children who carry on the family name and tradition. It is the oldest winery in the Montefalco appellation and was the subject of a feature article here in November.




~ The glorius Umbrian hilltown of Montefalco ~

Scacciadiavoli’s Sagrantino is vinified in large French oak vats for up to 4 weeks before being moved to French barrels for aging.  Maturation in barrel lasts for 16 months and the wine is further refined for 9 months in bottle before release.

The 2007 Scacciadiavoli Sagrantino is a deep purple to black color in the decanter. 60 minutes in the decanter brought forth a wonderful array of aromas.  There’s wild black berry, anise, pepper, and exotic spices that carry through to the palate of the wine which is rich and well structured. The tannins and acids are managed well – this isn’t the bruiser that some Sagrantino are and although it’s full bodied, it comes across as being more approachable in it’s youth. Really delicious. 92 points. About $40.



~  Love this color! ~

Tenuta Alzatura 

Acquired in the late 1990’s Tenuta Alzatura was the Cecchi family’s first expansion beyond their normal Tuscan borders.  I had the pleasure to taste this wine with the winemaker, Andrea Cecchi.  I asked him what lured him to Sagrantino and what made it special to him?

“Giovanni, I loved the challenge and the Sagrantino grape is not one of the easiest to cultivate. It demands a fertile terrain with good skeletal soils. The flowering phase is the most difficult and delicate part.  The vines have a tendency to get jumbled and then the plant becomes a perfect site for parasites and fungal disease. For this reason, the shoots must have ample air circulation. That is the key.  Once the integrity of the plant has been maintained, the Sagrantino grape gives great satisfaction  with its incomparable polyphenolic composition. But as always, it starts with the plants!”


~ Vineyards of Tenuta Alzatura ~

The 2008 Sagrantino is a striking, inky black color.  Decanted for 90 minutes and served with osso bucco, the wine displays notable aromas of rich black plums, fennel, cedar, spices and tobacco.  Along with it’s brethren in this report, the wine is massive on the palate. Full bodied with a rich, ripe core of fruit that coats the palate, the wine impresses with its elegance despite it’s sizable frame. The black fruit flavors are accented with dried herbs, fennel and coffee. This is rich and stunning.  I love it.  Alzatura is vinified in stainless steel and then aged 16 months in barrique, and then a combination of botte and bottle aging for 14 months – at least 8 of which are in bottle.   94 points and a great value at approximately $40. 



~ The Cecchi family owns Tenuta Alzatura ~

The Alzatura credo:  “Wines from the past, for the present, looking to the future.” 
 

Arnaldo Caprai
After being named Wine Enthusiast Winery of the Year in 2012, you shouldn’t need any further validation about the quality of Arnaldo Caprai’s wines.  They’re excellent.  Enough said.  I’ve been fortunate enough to taste and chat with owner Marco Caprai and he’s engaging and passionate.  Traits that easily extend to his wines



~ Proprietor Marco Caprai ~

The Arnaldo Caprai winery is one of the largest in Montefalco.  With over 1,000 acres devoted to grasslands, olives and wilderness, there are still 370 acres under vine for production.   The first wine we tried was the 2007 Sagrantino “25 Anni”.  This Sagrantino, first made in tribute to the winery’s 25th anniversary, just may need 25 years in the cellar to show it’s best.  To claim it as massive would be to damn with faint praise.  It is black as night in the decanter – where we let it sit for 2 hours.  Black through and through.  With a thick rare rib eye sprinkled with Gorgonzola, this wine gave all it had. But there is so much hiding within.  There are aromas of spice, smoke, cedar, wild black berry and anise that forge ahead on the palate as well.  But this is primary and monstrous. It’s balanced, with gargantuan tannins and acids to back the fruit. Aged 24-30 months in french barrique and 6 months in bottle before release.  If you’re inclined to try this soon, I’d decant it – maybe overnight.  Otherwise, put an “Open in 2027” sticker on the bottle and bury it.  Tough to narrow  this down at this stage, but you can tell the class and breeding are there.  94-98 points.  About $95.



~ 2007 “25 Anni” Sagrantio ~

Next was the 2005 Sagrantino “25 Anni”.   I have to admit that, despite my tasting of the 2007 version of this, I still had hopes that it’s two year older sibling would be more rambunctious than it’s baby brother.  Well, so much for that.  If anything, they’re on par, and I’ll chalk that up to the boisterous fruit of the 2007 vintage as opposed to the slightly more reserved 2005 vintage.  No matter.  I could probably cut and paste my note above and do no disservice to this broad shouldered Sagrantino.  The one main difference I see is in the flavor profile of the fruit.  Where the 2007 was about black berry this leans more towards black cherry.  Splitting hairs you might say – but I suspect it’s more the hallmark of the vintage.  We didn’t try these side by side, but an interesting comparison. 92-95 points, about $95.




~ The equally massive & tightly structured 2005 “25 Anni” ~



~ The Arnaldo Caprai Cantina – in a bit of fog ~
 
The next wine up from the Caprai stable was the 2010 Montefalco Rosso.  A blend of 70% Sangiovese, 15%  Merlot and 15% Sagrantino, this is floral and spicy on the nose with a velvety palate that is generous with fruit, flowers and spices.  Medium bodied and well balanced, this will drink well for 5-7 years.  High toned like the vintage itself and very similar to the 2009 version I tasted at Slow Wine.  91 points, about $28. 
 



~ Served with Bruschetta, Olives stuffed with Gorgozola, & various cheeses  ~

Finally,  with beef short ribs braised in Montefalco Rosso,  we opened the “regular” Sagrantino from Caprai – the 2007 Collepiano Sagrantino.   Collepiano means “little hills” but there is nothing else little about this wine.  The structure and style of this wine is very similar to the “25 Anni” although the scale isn’t quite as large. The main difference between the two is the density of the vineyard and the altitude.  The “25 Anni” is slightly higher above sea level and more densely planted than the vineyards that provide fruit for Collepiano.  The aging regimen is the same, with Collepiano spending 24-26 months in barrique and 6 months in bottle before release.  
 
The wine is dark – a blackish violet color.  It is “slightly” more aromatic with wild black fruits, smoke, cedar and spices. On the palate, an attractive olive note makes its presence on the palate and the wine is very well balanced. The smoke and black fruits linger and although full bodied and tannic, it is not the brute the “25 Anni” is.  I can see this drinking well ten years out from vintage.   The ribs tamed this wine well, so if you can’t hold off, decant this for 90 minutes and sip with hearty fare.  91-94 points.   About $50.



~ Ripe & Full Bodied – the 2007 Collepiano Sagrantino ~

Perticaia

Perticaia is the word that marks the tool with which agriculture and nature are transformed into wine; for in the archaic Umbrian language, Perticaia means “plough”.   This deep connection to the land is precisely why proprietor Guido Guardigli decided to name his venture Perticaia.   But Perticaia doesn’t remain stoic in the past.  Indeed, the “Double P” label on the wine pays homage to a dual meaning:  “Penso Positivo” (positive thinking) and also, “Progetto Perticaia”, the Perticaia Project.  This represents the vision of the future that is inextricably linked to the past. 
 
Today, Perticaia boasts a mere 15 hectares of vineyards, 7 of which are devoted to Sagrantino.  The brilliant enologist Emiliano Falsini is in charge of the winemaking and collaborates carefully with Mr. Guardigli.   The wine is aged for 36 months prior to release:  12 months each in barrique, steel vats, and then bottle.



~ Perticaia ~
 
The 2009 Sagrantino can be described in one word:  Massive!   A stunning effort.  This wine is deep purple in the glass and already has aromas of cinnamon, exotic spices, blackberry and smoke.  On the palate, the wine is simply gargantuan. There are masses of fruits and tannins that are so aggressive at the moment they feel as though they are literally grabbing at your cheeks.  The core of fruit is ripe and mammoth, but this needs some long cellaring to settle down.  It’s so young and primary right now.   Tasted at the Gambero Rosso “Tre-Bicchieri” event without food.  92-95 points.



~ Delicious, but very young and primary ~

Antonelli

“We lean toward elegance, harmony and drinkability rather than blunt power. We use a gentle extraction and moderate use of wood.” 



~ The humble gentleman,  Filippo Antonelli ~

This is the philosophy at Antonelli, and it’s working.  It’s something that proprietor Filippo Antonelli mentioned to me the last time we spoke, shortly after Gambero Rosso.  To further his aim of “gentle extraction”, Antonelli has built a new winery and cellar which is 100% gravity fed.  The hand picked grapes enter the mouth of the winery directly from the vineyards which rest on slopes and hillsides near the “top” of the winery.  Antonelli is intimately “on top” of his work; his personal home rests directly above the wine cellar.  The estate is comprised of 170 hectares of total land, 40 of which are devoted to Sagrantino. 




~ Barrels in the Antonelli Cantina ~

Founded in 1981, Antonelli crafts a wide array of wines from native Umbrian varietals in addition to olive oils and grappa.   The first wine we tasted was the 2009 Montefalco Rosso.   Vinified in stainless steel vats, the Montefalco Rosso is a blend of 70% Sangiovese, 15% Sagrantino and 15% Merlot.  Aging takes place in large barrels and then the wine spends 3 months clarifying in cement and 6 months in bottle before release.  The result is a pretty, forward Rosso with an exuberant personality.  Violets, spices and berries dance on the nose and palate.  The wine is lively and perfumed but retains a sense of structure as that 15% Sagrantino provides an assertive backbone.  Good balance and paired well with ragu bolognese.  91 points, about $18.



~ Antonelli Montefalco Rosso ~

Next up was Antonelli’s flagship Sagrantino.  Antonelli ages his Sagrantino an additional 3 months longer than the regulations require – he says, to achieve the balance and harmony that he wants his wines to exhibit.  The Sagrantino is aged for 3 months in cement vats,  6 months in new barrique,  12 months in large cask, and finally 12 months in bottle.

The 2006 Sagrantino has amazing architecture – the vintage, like that in Tuscany, is classically structured and suited to a long maturation in the cellar.  That being said, with 90 minutes of decanting, this wine was “eminently enjoyable” as my partner remarked.   The aroma of the wine is captivating.  Black fruits, plums, spices, leather and cedar are all detectable. Full bodied and balanced on the palate, this wine has the potential for utter greatness in 10 years time.  Dominated still by young black plum fruit, there’s smoke, coffee and spices on the palate.  Wonderfully balanced, the tannins present here melted away alongside a rib eye charred and topped with mushrooms.  93 points.  About $38 and an excellent value.



~ The 2006 Antonelli Sagrantino – an elegant beauty ~



~ Antonelli vineyards in the Sagrantino DOCG ~

Recent Vintage Evaluations

This report spans vintages from 2004-2010 and although excellent wines were made in every vintage, it can be daunting to remember the general characteristics of each year.  With an eye to the future,  I was able to sit down with Dr. Stefano Dini, the Agronomist for Tabarrini.  He graciously supplied the brief vintage summaries below.
 

Dr. Dini’s Vintage Evaluations:  2008-2013
 

2008:A non-homogeneous year, it is very difficult to generalize. Spring was very rainy, with some phytosanitary problems, followed by a mild Summer. Autumn began with wide temperature swings and moderate amounts of rainfall. The harvest period, date wise, lay within the average, with good ripening of the grapes.  The resulting wines have proper alcohol content, high acidity and interesting aromatic profiles.  These are the main characteristics of the wines obtained.
2009: A good year, with most of Spring and the first part of the Summer rather rainy. This weather, although at the beginning  caused some problems for the phytosanitary management, then allowed us to better manage the dryness of the second part of the summer. The season continued with good development of the plants and a regular harvest. The resulting wines are characterized by good structure and aromatic intensity.  
2010: The year started in a very difficult way with Spring marked by heavy rainfall and low temperatures. This caused a delay in bud break and in the growth of the plants. The rainfall, however, turned out to be rather useful in avoiding the water stress from a Summer characterized by moderate dryness and hot temperature swings within a wide range. The harvest started late as a result but gave wines with good alcohol percentages and aromatic intensity, in addition to high acidity.
2011:An anomalous year from the climate point of view. The early bud break was followed by late, often damaging frosts. The Summer was characterized by intense heat and very low rainfall, so the harvest was very early. The resulting wines are characterized by fairly high alcohol percentages, lower acidity and good extract.  Lower yields.
2012:This year is known for the cold and dry Winter and late frosts in the Spring. Both of these events contributed to a damaged and lowered production. The beginning of the Spring was rainy, with some problems in controlling the pathogens. This was followed by a period of drought that lasted throughout the whole summer which caused significant stress to the plants. The wines obtained are characterized by good alcohol percentages and good phenolic ripeness.
2013:  This year began with a late bud break because of the lower Spring temperatures. A particularly rainy Spring and Summer kept overall temperatures down. It was not too hot. The harvest was later than normal due to the difficulties with grape ripening. Problems with plant disease lowered the grape production. What started as a vintage with initially higher production ended up rather reduced.
Thanks to Dr. Dini,  as well as all the importers, producers and distributors that helped contribute to this report.  Hopefully I’ve helped shine a light on Umbria and the beautiful wines coming from Montefalco.  They are unique, terroir driven, and belong on your table.
 
Salute!
 
 
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