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Wine Style



Montefalco Sagrantino is Umbria’s most prestigious wine. Sagrantino is the name of the indigenous grape varietal and the wine. Sagrantino is made in two different styles, passito and secco. Both styles will be defined later.
The name stems from the Latin root word sacer which means sacred, holy or dedicated to a divinity. Traditionally the Sagrantino Passito was a treasured wine that consecrated family and monastery tables during religious feasts like Christmas, Easter or memorable moments of domestic life. The origins of Sagrantino have never been clear, one belief is that around the 14th-15th century it was brought back by Byzantine monks returning from their preaching journeys in Asia Minor or from Franciscan friars or from the Saracens (Saraceni) or that it may have Spanish origins. It is grown in 5 different villages, along the Sagrantino Wine Road (La Strada del Sagrantino), Montefalco, Bevagna, Castel Ritaldi, Giano Dell Umbria, and Gualdo Cattaneo, all in the Province of Perugia, in the region of Umbria in Central Italy. This particular area offers a continental climate where in the past 30 years the average coldest temperature in January was 39° F and the hottest in July reached 76°F the average rainfall is about 28 inches which occurs about 90 days on average, 40 days of frost and snowfalls about 7 times a year. The Montefalco Sagrantino vineyards are cultivated on mostly gently sloping rolling hills which range from 220 meters above sea level to 472 meters. The sun exposure varies from vineyard to vineyard for which there is a wide range of micro-climates and cultivation conditions. The soils types found on the Sagrantino Wine Road are fluvial conglomerates of yellow sand, clay, sandy clay, silty clay, pebbles, marl, silty greyish marl, yellowish sandstone, limestones, and calcarenite.

In 1992 Montefalco Sagrantino was granted the D.O.C.G. status, which stands for Denominazioni di Origine Controllata e Garantita. This means that the wine is guaranteed to be from the Montefalco area, following the disciplines established by the Consortium of Sagrantino Wine. For a wine to have the name Montefalco Sagrantino on the label, it needs to be made of 100 percent Sagrantino grapes, grown in vineyards exclusively composed of Sagrantino vines and produced at a winery in the Montefalco area. The maximum production of grapes permitted is 8 tons per hectare. The mandatory aging period is minimum of 33 months, starting from December 1st of the year of harvest. Sagrantino Secco must spend at least 12 months in oak barrels of any size. Then both the Passito and Secco must be bottle aged for at least 4 months.

The Sagrantino Passito dates back to the 15th century and is the authentic version. This is a late harvest wine, where the highest quality Sagrantino grapes are picked when they are completely matured then laid flat on cane trellises to dry for about 2 months (until Christmas) arriving to an almost raisin consistency. Passito is a sweet wine, which in Italian is called Vino da Meditazione. A meditation wine, imagine that! If you are having those syrupy, too sweet memories of Vin Santo or Ice Wine, do not worry Sagrantino Passito is very different. Sagrantino Passito is an opaque inky dark-burgundy color, not overly sweet, with an almost milky consistency. It may be enjoyed alone, paired with biscotti or aged pecorino cheese, or could even accompany a nice filet mignon!
In Umbria, during Easter, it is served with Pizza di Pasqua, which is like a savory cheese Panetone. This exquisite wine is very difficult to find outside of Umbria.
Ideal serving temperature is 54° F
According to the DOCG guidelines upon the release for consumption, the Montefalco Sagrantino Passito must have the following characteristics:
Color: deep ruby red sometimes with purple hues, with age turns to a garnet color
Aroma: delicate, with slight blackberry notes
Flavor: sweet, harmonious, pleasant
Minimum total alcohol content: 18 % vol.
Minimum residual sugar: 80 grams/liter
Maximum residual sugar: 180 grams/liter
Minimum total acidity: 4.5 g/l
Minimum non-reducing extract: 35.0 g/l

Montefalco Sagrantino Secco
Secco is defined as dry in Italian, and that is it. The more traditional Sagrantino is very tannic and particularly dry, which is typical of this grape variety. The Secco version was started around 1976 when there was a need to have a more food-friendly wine, which could be enjoyed every day. Depending on the vineyard location, exposure, soil, and winemaking techniques will reveal different styles of Sagrantino. Montefalco Sagrantino is a very distinctive wine that remains incomparable to any wine in the world. Characterized by fruit forward ripeness, concentrated firm tannins, full-body with amazing depth and longevity, a vibrant, fresh peppery finish and definitely considered a food wine ideally paired with hearty dishes. In Umbria, Sagrantino is classically paired wild boar (cinghiale) it’s also wonderful with steak or with aged pecorino cheese. Sagrantino is built for aging for it is rich in polyphenols and tannins. In fact, it is one of the most tannic varietals in the world. We like to cellar it for about 10 years then enjoy.
Ideal serving temperature is 64° F.
According to the DOCG guidelines upon the release for consumption, the Montefalco Sagrantino Secco must have the following characteristics:
Color: deep ruby red, sometimes with purple highlights, with age garnet color
Aroma: delicate, with slight blackberry notes
Flavor: dry, harmonious
Minimum total alcohol content: 13% vol.
Minimum total acidity: 4.5 g/l
Minimum non-reducing extract: 26.0 g/l