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  Editorial Issue 160, March 2017   
The Beauty of SagrantinoThe Beauty of Sagrantino  Contents 
Issue 159, February 2017 Follow DiWineTaste on Follow DiWineTaste on TwitterIssue 161, April 2017

The Beauty of Sagrantino


 Montefalco Sagrantino undoubtedly is one of my favorite wines. I said this many times, also in these pages, and I say it again. It is not only about the love I have for the wines of my land - Umbria - Sagrantino is a wine I started pouring in my glass since the half of the 1980s. Montefalco Sagrantino, there is no doubt about this, has changed quite a lot in the course of time, it has certainly grown up and it walked a very long way while conquering important successes. In all of this time, as Montefalco Sagrantino became more and more famous, also the number of producers committed to the production of this wine have grown up as well, a positive aspect for sure. Montefalco Sagrantino, besides being powerful and rich in personality, is capable of expressing elegance, something it clearly gets with time. Robust and powerful grape - no variety in the world has the same content in tannins and polyphenols - Sagrantino is like a majestic horse needing a skilled and talented jockey in order to win the race in all of its glory.


 

 In the course of years, producers of Montefalco Sagrantino have understood the value of time and how it can be effective in making a difference, precious ally in order to tame the power of tannins and - at the same time - give more elegance and sensorial complexity. If there is a grape and a wine which can benefit from time, Montefalco Sagrantino certainly is one of them. Some producers - as opposed to what the production disciplinary and the market requires - prefer leaving their Sagrantino wines in the cellar for a longer time in order to give the senses of wine lovers a higher complexity and elegance. An agreeable choice, despite it is obvious this unavoidably affects both costs and final price of bottle. The solution could be buying bottles of Montefalco Sagrantino and, in case your personal cellar lets you do so, keep them for some years in order to let them age before enjoying them. This is what I personally do with the great Montefalco Sagrantino as I am aware of the fact time will be capable of reward my waiting.

 The magic time gives Montefalco Sagrantino has established an even stronger and significant connection thanks to a wine recently released to the market. The winery which made this new magic is Arnaldo Caprai - with no doubt the most famous and celebrated winery of this territory - the wine is Montefalco Sagrantino Spinning Beauty 2006. Yes, you read it right: vintage two thousand and six, released to the market in 2016 after having spent eight years in barrique and the rest in bottle. Arnaldo Caprai winery, of course, does not need much presentation: successfully run by the determined Marco Caprai, it undoubtedly is the winery which contributed to the rebirth and development of Sagrantino. After having scientifically and rigorously studied the past and present of Sagrantino - with the help and support of the University of Milan - Arnaldo Caprai winery starts today a new and amazing chapter in Montefalco Sagrantino history.

 The contribution Arnaldo Caprai winery gave Sagrantino and viticulture of Montefalco is both impressive and fundamental, in particular, the scientific and technical contribution to the understanding of characteristics and potentials of the great Umbrian red. Marco Caprai, in fact, did not leave anything to chance, adopting since the very beginning a reliable and verifiable research approach, calling to Montefalco qualified and authoritative experts and scientists, therefore contributing to the development of Sagrantino and the whole territory of Montefalco. The result of those researches and experimentation - something that, after many years, are still in progress - have allowed the identification and classification of many Sagrantino clones, some of them included in the Registro Nazionale delle Varietà di Vite, the official Italian directory of wine vines. On this regard, are mentioned the famous Sagrantino clones “I - UniMi - Caprai - 25 Anni”, “I - UniMi - Caprai - Cobra” and “I - UniMi - Caprai - Collepiano”. Last but not the least, the singular white Sagrantino, a clone still subject of experimentation and further research.

 Then they recently released this Montefalco Sagrantino Spinning Beauty 2006. I knew about this wine since many months now, because Marco Caprai himself and some of his collaborators talked to me about this new Sagrantino. Then, in occasion of an informal event at Arnaldo Caprai winery, I finally had the chance to taste this Spinning Beauty 2006. I understand since the first smell what I had in my glass is a Sagrantino amazingly different from any other one I tasted before, a wine capable of writing a new and important chapter in the history of Montefalco. I ask Marco Caprai why he wanted to make a Sagrantino aged for such a long time in wood. The answer - clear and simple - does not deny the innovative spirit of research and experimentation which have always led Marco Caprai and his winery for the understanding and development of the potentials of both Sagrantino and Montefalco. Marco Caprai wanted, with this magnificent Spinning Beauty, to give birth to a wine capable of challenging, both in quality and prestige, the other great wines of the world aged for many years before being released.

 Moreover, Marco Caprai said this wine style - aged in wood for many years - is scarcely considered in Italy, while believing Sagrantino is capable of challenging this enterprise and certainly becoming a protagonist in this category. By considering the result, of undeniable and monumental greatness, we can only say he is right. Montefalco Sagrantino Spinning Beauty 2006 is made with the famous “Cobra” clone, harvested in the most ancient vineyard of the estate “Monte della Torre” and aged for eight years in barrique. The result is of an absolutely impressive greatness: the power of Sagrantino meeting an impressive sensorial complexity wearing a robe of supreme elegance and class. Tasting Montefalco Sagrantino Spinning Beauty 2006 gives the impression, since the first smell, to have in the glass a special and inimitable wine, a masterpiece expressing a sumptuous symphony of aromas, absolutely perfect. With this magnificent wine, Arnaldo Caprai winery undoubtedly marks a new, surprising and extraordinary story of Sagrantino, one of the many they were capable of writing in the course of the years. An extraordinary beauty. A wine expressing the most sublime beauty: that of great Sagrantino and the renewed miracle happening since many years in Umbria in the hills of Montefalco.

Antonello Biancalana






   Share this article   Share on Google+   Summary of Editorial column Wine Tasting 
  Editorial Issue 160, March 2017   
The Beauty of SagrantinoThe Beauty of Sagrantino  Contents 
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