2016 Arnaldo Caprai Sagrantino Di Montefalco Collepiano
Robert Parker | 94 RP
Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 94 RP
Darkly alluring notes of plum and cherry sauce give way to balsamic spices and hints of mocha as the 2016 Montefalco Sagrantino Collepiano blossoms in the glass. This is a deeply textural yet youthfully dense and poised expression, a wave of ripe black fruits, encased in a web of minerals, coasting along a core of brisk acids. Cooling hints of mint add lift through the massively structured finale, where sweet tobacco, baker’s chocolate and currants linger incredibly long. This is a towering yet sleek vintage of Collepiano that will enjoy a long life, though it will require a number of years to come fully into focus.
Vinous Media | 93 VM
An elegant spin on Sagrantino, with supple tannins and a fresh spine of acidity layered as a springboard for flavors of crushed cherry and black raspberry fruit, Earl Grey tea, dried rose petal and sandalwood aromatic. A subtle streak of minerally iron and smoke plays on the graceful finish. Drink now through 2031. 10,000 cases made, 500 cases imported.
Wine Spectator | 93 WS
Aromas of cassis, dark plums, incense and roasted nuts. It’s full-bodied with firm tannins. Firm and dense with a chalky texture. Slightly dry finish. Drink in 2023.
James Suckling | 91 JS
Wine Details for 2016 Arnaldo Caprai Sagrantino Di Montefalco Collepiano
|Type of Wine||
: There are dozens of grape varietals grown in Italy so no wonder they produce such a broad range of most exquisite wines. Some of the most cultivated red varieties are Nebbiolo, Aglianico, Sangiovese, and Barbera, while Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon are also popular. Among whites, you're likely to find Pinot Grigio, Trebbiano, or Vernaccia varietals.
: Italy is a food and wine destination; a paradise for those who enjoy diversity. From the Tuscan hillsides to the islands of Sicily and Sardinia, the plethora of quality wine grapes is astounding, as is the wine produced. In the small medieval village of Montefalco, almost secreted away, rests the home and likely birthplace of Sagrantino. A grape varietal which exudes power, yet finesse, is sweet, yet savory and is shockingly one of the least well-known varieties in all of Italy.
Sagrantino’s origin has long been disputed, despite the fact that Umbria has been its home for centuries. There are close to 1,000 hectares of the variety gracing the hillside vineyards of Umbria, which account for 90% of all plantings of it in Italy. The grapes most famous display in single varietal wines is found in the DOCG (Designation of Controlled and Guaranteed Origin) of Montefalco Sagrantino: created in 1992 and up until 2009, known as Sagrantino di Montefalco.
Montefalco Sagrantino wines are made exclusively from the Sagrantino grape. One of the local wine laws for the DOCG states that the wines must not be released for at least 37 months including a minimum of 12 months ageing time in oak barrels. Blending is permitted in the larger DOC (Designation of Controlled Origin) of Montefalco, in which more lenient demands apply to the ageing process. These wines are designated as Montefalco Rosso and are required to age for a minimum of 18 months with no requirement for oak. Sagrantino’s traditional blending partner has been the lighter-bodied Sangiovese grape which is very well known in Tuscany.
Sagrantino grapes are deeply colored blue-black, thick-skinned and possess high levels of tannin with an affinity for oak, which is reflected in the ageing requirements of the DOC and DOCG, respectively. The tannins exceed even that of the highly respected Nebbiolo grape; however, because the tannins are not overly austere, more modern examples can be quite approachable in their youth. The variety responds well to the clay soils, dusted with sand and limestone found in the Umbria winegrowing region. The climate is similar to that of Tuscany, with cold, rainy winters and dry summers with abundant sunshine to ripen wine grapes. The topography is considered hilly and mountainous, which is another beneficial quality for a good draining soil structure.
Varietal examples are dark and dense that is nearly unique to Umbria. The fruit profile ranges from black cherries to ripe blackberry, with many secondary spicy and earthy characteristics. A certain smokiness is sometimes noted in some examples while sappy pine flavors have been observed in others. It is typically both sweet and savory. The resulting wines demonstrate flavors of plum sauce, licorice, black tea, black olive and black pepper, with some of the highest polyphenol (antioxidant) levels of any red wine. The wines have a complex personality and are among Italy’s richest and most powerful wines when properly aged and are distinguished by silky, enticing flavors and tannins.
Due to the limited hectares under vine, Sagrantino remains one of Italy’s least known varietals and the wines produced are quite rare. Even rarer are the varietal Passito (dessert-styled) wines of Montefalco Sagrantino DOCG. These concentrated wines, made from semi-dried grapes are comparable to vintage Port in their intensity and longevity.
: Italy is renowned as one of the world’s greatest gastronomic havens; from certified Prosciutto di Parma to the sea-side seafood eateries on the island of Sicily. However, this epicurean experience could not possibly be as hedonistic without the ethereal combination of the country’s plethora of fine wines. It seems unfair that a nation should be able to boast, both, some of the world’s greatest cuisine as well as its greatest wines. Italian wine is one of the most sought after in the world, and has become the second most produced in the world, behind only France.
Stretching an impressive 736 miles from northern Italy to the peninsula’s southern tip, the country’s geography generates an enormous array of topography, climate and soil structure. This is an extremely important quality of its winegrowing and making industry which lays claim to nearly 550 different grape varietals, which all desire their own necessities, in terms of terroir and climate.
The still red wines of Italy truly characterize the nation’s vast and expansive terroir; Nebbiolo dominates Piedmont, where Barolo and Barbaresco reign king and queen of the region’s production. Hailing from Brunello di Montalcino in Tuscany, the rockstar Sangiovese grape has become synonymous with greatness. Vin Santo sweet wines have taken on a mighty feat of competing with the glorious wines of Sauternes, and of course, Prosecco. Prosecco, located in Trieste (northeast Italy) and its creation of luxuriously effervescent styles of wine has become Italy’s answer to Champagne. The Glera grape variety, which has become synonymous with the name Prosecco, is the main ingredient and is beloved in the appellation where the village of Prosecco’s name has become world renowned.
The blurred boundary between Italy and the countries of Slovenia and Austria, where German influence still resonates through Friuli wines. The prevalence of Riesling and other such grape varietals is high in this region and have become extremely popular on today’s market.
With nearly 702,000 hectares of grapevines covering the massive and diverse landscape, Italy’s annual average of 48.3 million hectoliters of wine production is second only to France in terms of volume and Spain in terms of hectares of vines. The country is vast and overwhelming when it comes to the culinary arts, but perhaps even this is overshadowed by its production of some of the world’s most sought after wines, whether the omnipresent Chianti to the highly collectible and sought after Amarone della Valpolicalla.
: If you're looking for a hidden nook full of spirit, culture, history, good food and wine, look no further than Umbria. Though far from secret, especially in the last couple of decades, this little Italian dreamland is a medicine to all who visit it. The villages scattered along its gorgeous hills effervesce such peaceful ambiance that shows in the wines produced here. The lush white Orvieto is well-known by all serious wine enthusiasts. The grape that produces it comes in such variety in colors, sizes, and flavor, that each bottle of this wine seems to showcase a unique personality, each a little bit different and delicious in its own way. These wines are impossible to generalize; some are dry, delicious, focused and long, others sweet, luscious and spicy. Their characteristics vary greatly, like true siblings and not clones, which keeps the experience of sampling them fresh and interesting as you discover something new to enjoy each time you revisit them.
If you'd still prefer a red wine, get acquainted with Sagrantino, an Umbrian native grape of staggering potency and depth. Dark, intense, with delicious blackberry and ripe cherry flavor profile and clear undergrowth secondaries, this attractive wine entices any audience lucky enough to sample it.
|Subregion||Sagrantino di Montefaclo|