~ The Campo Alla Cerqua vineyard is dominated by a large oak tree that inspires the vineyard’s name ~

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. 
Recently I caught up with Giampaolo at Slow Wine and we tasted through his lastest offerings.  Although the wines were young and not yet released to the market, it was easy to see the quality inherent in the bottlings.  The dedication, nay obsession, with quality at Tabarrini is resulting in wines of great complexity and consistency.  I would easily recommend buying any vintage that you come across.

~ Yes, we had fun at Slow Wine ~
The most recent releases are the 2012 Rosso di Montefalco and all three of the 2011 Sagrantino di Montefalco. 
2012 Ross di Montefalco: Officially 80% Sangiovese,  10% Sagrantino and 10% Barbera,  Giampaolo laughed when we discussed the blend here so I know there’s more Sagrantino and less Barbera.   It shows too in the stuffing of the wine.  This deep ruby red wine has lots of fresh flower, herb, bright berry and tobacco notes on the nose and palate.  It carries more weight on the midpalate than one would expect – though I’ve come to anticipate that with this wine.  One of the best values in Rosso di Montefalco you’ll find under $20.  91 points. 

Next we tasted the Sagrantino by “weight” from lightest to heaviest.  Considering any Sagrantino light is folly, but taste the wines side by side and you’ll see what I mean.

2011 Colle Grimaldesco:  Deep purple in the glass, this wine exudes aromas of crushed berry, licorice, and blue flowers.  On the palate, this dense wine is masculine and full bodied with loads of ripe black plum, fennel and mineral flavors. The tannins are notable but well balanced and ripe and the dusty notes of the Tabarrini terroir shine through.  I love this wine and it’s a great value.  92 points,  about $35.

2011 Campo alla Cerqua:   This is always my favorite of Tabarrini’s three Sagrantino and the 2011 does nothing to change that.   Here’s how Giampaolo described the wine to me: 

“Smoother, the most feminine; more experimental and mineral. Fresh, fruity and sought after. Probably not the most traditional Sagrantino, but a really elegant version.  You won’t find something similar in Montefalco.  The most elegant and feminine of the three.”
It’s that elegance and feminine nature to this wine that I just dig.  Blackish in color with loads of blackberry, mocha, coffee and floral notes on the nose that are echoed on the palate.  This is full bodied, with loads of caressing dusty tannins – that absolute hallmark of this wine.  I dig it.  96 points, about $42.  
Finally we got to Giampaolo’s favorite,  Colle alle Macchie.  Full throttle, full power, brawn and more brawn.  

The 2011 Colle alle Macchie is black in the glass.  Wet stones, black fruits, lavender and coffee aromas are notable.  On the palate, as expected, everything is elevated. It’s  boisterous without being pretentious. It mirrors Giampaolo’s personality. There are masses of black fruits that cover your palate. Fully ripe and concentrated, yet fresh lively. The fruit is accented by pipe tobacco, gravelly brown turned earth, and hints of espresso and licorice.  It’s totally masculine and untamed.  It needs a big steak or short ribs, but oh how it will excel with either.  96 points,  about $52. 


~ The latest offerings from Giampaolo Tabarrini ~

If you’d like to read more about Tabarrini’s three vineyards, their wines and the characteristics of each here: My Interview with Giampaolo.

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