For four generations, the Tabarrini family has been nestled in the corner of Umbria outside of Montefalco. They have passionately tended their vineyards, yielding exceptional fruit for producing distinctive wines. Historically they farmed and sold their wine locally in bulk form. However, in the late 1990’s, 4th generation winemaker Giampaolo Tabarrini put his years of experience to practice and decided to bottle his own wine. That was the beginning of the new story of Tabarrini and today, Giampaolo makes some of the most highly respected wines from Central Italy.
Like Tabarrini, Umbria is unique. It may very well be my second favorite province after Tuscany. The people are friendly, genuine and humble. With that comes a warmth that seems to emanate from the core of the home, the kitchen. I find this quote compelling.
“A simple cuisine, sometimes poor but fabulously witty. The Umbrian kitchen is composed of genuine raw materials and is always in tune with the low rhythm of the seasons. Through her lands and traditions, Umbria rediscovers herself at the table. An incredible and excellent series of refinements that hail from rural origins, the Umbrian kitchen offers tasty dishes for everyone. You just have to choose the right wine…..”
With Tabarrini’s pursuit of excellence and authenticity, choosing the right wine is easy.
Tabarrini is unique in Montefalco. Owner and winemaker Giampaolo Tabarrini is boisterous, passionate and seemingly blessed with limitless energy. He directs this outwardly to friends and family and inward toward his wines. Tabarrini is the only Sagrantino producer to bottle three distinct vineyard designated wines, each with a definitively different terroir; each crafted in the same style in order that the sites differences speak in the glass. If you are fortunate enough to lineup all three wines side by side, I suggest you embrace the chance; it’s a delicious and valuable learning experience. In the near future, I’ll be reporting on Tabarrini’s new Sagrantino releases, but today, we’re covering Sagrantino’s “baby brother”: Montefalco Rosso.
The 2013 Tabarrini Montefalco Rosso “Boccatone”, which loosely translates as “boisterous mouth”, is almost a double entendre depicting the playful, yet full bodied nature of the wine and the energy of Giampaolo’s personality.
In the glass, it’s a deep ruby trending to violet reflections. The aromas evolve nicely as the wine opens in the glass. Crushed wild berry, Umbrian forest, floral tones, spices and vanilla are prominent and complex beyond what you may expect. On the palate the wine is fresh and lively with a medium to full bodied core of dark red berry notes, dusty tannic minerality, sage/pine, tobacco and pepper flavors that are concentrated and delicious. There’s more tannic support on the back end than many other Montefalco Rosso’s display so as I began with that quote in the opening, good food is required here. 91 points and an amazing value around $20.
The vines that provide the fruit for Boccatone are now almost 25 years old and the flavors are becoming more complex. Vinified in stainless steel, the wine is then aged in a combination of large botte and French barrique for 18 months before a full year resting in bottle prior to release. By law, Montefalco Rosso must be 60-80% Sangiovese, 10-25% Sagrantino and up to 30% of other approved red grapes.
Salute! Want to find this wine? Go here: http://www.wine-searcher.com/find/tabarrini