Unquestionably, winter is Sagrantino season. And as I wrote just last week, these aristocratic reds are massive and often unforgiving in their youth and require extended cellaring to show their best potential. After spending some time with Giampaolo Tabarrini last week at the Gambero Rosso Tre Bicchieri tasting, I was eager to check in on some of the older wines of his that I have in the cellar. We discussed many things; the age of the vineyards, the propensity for the wines to develop over time and even his favorite food pairings with each Cru Sagrantino. The idea was put into my head and so I went to work.
Grimaldesco is the name of the hill where Tabarrini’s cantina nestles. The name comes from Grimovaldo, a Lombard king who, in the year 664, before he occupied the Spoleto grand duchy, wanted to stay on the estate because of the enchanting views. A beautiful and incredibly fertile vineyard, the Grimaldesco hill produces great black skinned Sagrantino. This is how Giampaolo Tabarrini describes the wine produced by Grimaldesco.
The wine has his own soul and it’s the oldest vineyard of the three. It is some kind of meeting point between Macchie and Cerqua. It’s classic Sagrantino, probably what you would expect from a Sagrantino. Very rich in bouquet. Very aromatic.”
The 2006 Tabarrini Sagrantino Colle Grimaldesco is still a purplish black color. Not wanting to take any chances, we decanted the wine for 90 minutes prior to dinner. It could easily have used more, but it wasn’t a problem. The sex appeal of this wine comes through in it’s tactile nature. It is loaded with velvety, powdery tannins that scream Tabarinni. Black plum, coffee, leather and anise notes rise from the glass to provide a complex array of aromas while the palate adds grilled meat character and hints of vanilla spice. Can it cellar? Yes, at least another 5-7 years with no worry if you want the tannins to resolve even further. But they’re not in the way now, especially with the roasted leg of lamb we made to pair this against. Simply a stunning Sagrantino and a joy to pull from the cellar. 95 points. Tremendous value around $40. You can find the current vintage here.