Roccafiore. Montefalco Sagrantino
Montefalco Sagrantino DOCG
Spice, porcini and consommé, rich tannic structure, chewy, full black forest fruit. 15.5%
This is a difficult wine for Luca because as he doesn’t really like overly powerful wines and Sagrantino is Italy’s most tannic grape variety. Generally Sagrantino has a well-earned reputation for producing huge, tannic monsters, but I suspect Sagrantino is not the monster, rather it was the market in the 1990’s that accepted (nay, demanded) this style of wine.
Roccafiore do not own a cellar or vineyard in Montefalco, they must rent both. It is a complicated project and they manage just 2 hectares of vines that were planted in 1992 on a southwest-facing slope, where the topsoils are a sparse white clay just covering limestone. The vines are Cordon trained at a density of 5500 vines per hectare, the yield is tiny with each vine providing under 1kg of fruit.
The philosophy behind this wine is all about finding the elegant side of Sagrantino. The grapes are picked by hand and de-stemmed before an extended 10 day maceration on the skins. The fermentation uses natural yeasts and takes place in temperature-controlled steel tanks. The wine is then matured for 30 months in a single ‘botti’ (5000 litre barrel) made from Slavonian oak. The result is a genuinely fine wine that could almost be enjoyed without food.