2006 Raina Sagrantino di Montefalco DOCG
Mission Codename: Celebrazione Classica
Operative: Agent White
Objective: Secure an allocation of the elusive and delicious Sagrantino di Montefalco for our operatives.
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Raina – Francesco Mariani
Wine Subject: 2006 Sagrantino di Montefalco DOCG
Winemaker: Francis Mariani
Sagrantino di Montefalco, a very small DOCG south of Perugia in the Umbria region of West Central Italy, is famous for producing one of the most unique and distinctive wines of Italy. The wines of this region are made exclusively from the Sagrantino grape, often thought to be the grandfather of the Sangiovese grape. Wines from this region come in two varieties, the sweeter passito style and those, like this wine, which are dry.
These wines date back to the 15th century, where the the name ‘sagra’ means festival, causing many to believe that these wines were used for celebratory occasions and special feasts. These wines universally have superbly balanced and have the dominate flavor of of ripe and fresh blackberries.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Dark and deep purple with garnet and ruby highlights that barely shine through its dense and barely clear and nearly inky core. When swirled, tightly spaced thin legs appear on the side of the glass almost immediately before descending to the wine below.
Smell – Medium in intensity with classic rich black and red fruit including blackberry and a distinctive Italian candied red cherry layered over well balanced and complex aromas of soft brambly herbs, sandalwood, earthy notes, exotic spice and hints of dried flowers.
Feel – Smooth and dry, this full-bodied wine has finely etched firm tannins and lively but balanced acidity, both being expansive on the palate and lingering and grasping the fruit long into the finish.
Taste – Old world with restrained blackberry, Italian red cherry and other dark fruit buttressed with a touch of hot spice and pepper. Add to this all of the complex flavors found on the nose along with hints of cocoa and cigar tobacco.
Finish – Medium long in length with the textured tannins leading the way and lingering on after the dark fruit gently fades.
Conclusion – The 2006 Raina Sagrantino di Montefalco DOCG is a delicious example of one of the most underrated wines of Italy, Albeit, Sagrantino may be a geeky varietal, but once tasted, almost universally people love this classic and rustic example of a wine with a heritage that dates back centuries. This wine has classic aromas and flavors and a texture that will immediately transport you to your own private Italian festival.
WINEMAKER INTEL BRIEFING DOSSIER
SUBJECT: Francis Mariani
WINE EDUCATION: For the first two years we have collaborated with Tiziano Vistali, from whom I certainly learned a lot. Currently we have no enologist. Me and my cellarmaster, Andrea Mattioli, personally follow the cultivation of the vine and all stages of winemaking products. Then individually decide about the processing techniques, aging and assembly, as we are clear on the kind of product we want to achieve.
WINE JOB BRIEF: Personally, besides the experience gained working together with Tiziano Vistalli in 2003 I followed the courses of innovative techniques for the cultivation of vines. Also in 2006 I attended a course in oenology, lasting five months, in Parma, near Alma International School of Italian Cuisine “by Gualtiero Marchesi.
Andrea Mattioli, after graduating and receiving a degree as an agricultural expert, he attended courses related to the cultivation of the vine. Also 3 years experience at the winery “Colsanto” group “Livon, besides the three years of work completed in my company.
WINEMAKING PHILOSOPHY: We firmly believe that a wine should be a full expression of Terroir: First, the wine is made in the vineyard. We take care of yourself so all stages of cultivation, from pruning to Suckering from thinning to harvest. All these operations take place manually. Then try to limit the use of chemicals in the vineyard and do not use herbicides. The aim is to always get a product that, upon collection, be healthy, intact and has reached an appropriate degree of ripeness.
In the cellar, we are convinced that the product should not be chemically altered in any way: we do not use aromas or additives to change the typical characteristics of wines. The use of sulfur is minimal and we do not filter which we believe diminishes the wine. As for the aging in wood barrels we use strictly French oak barrels.
To further ensure quality, we use Technological systems for pumping next generation fermentation tanks with temperature control, soft pressing …
These tools, in addition to preserving the quality of products, help us to always work in a clean way: that is, in our opinion, fundamental.
This leads to wines of living, distinctive and interesting, full expression of the territory, with a strong personality and at the same time, very drinkable (we are not interested in produce wines for tastings and competitions).
WINEMAKER QUOTE: Life is too short to drink bad wine.
AGENT WHITE: Greetings, Francis, We are thrilled to be showing your 2006 Sagrantino di Montefalco DOCG today. Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.
FRANCIS: My pleasure, it is great to be featured on The Wine Spies!
WHITE: Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?
FRANCIS: There is no specific experience. My passion for wine comes from that for food and cooking and, more generally, for the love land where I live. The idea of producing wine is then the need to create something personal, traditional yet innovative time.
WHITE: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?
FRANCIS: There is no wine in particular, I believe that every quality wine should reflect the personality of who produces it and should have something that distinguishes it from all others. Currently, in my opinion, the biggest problem with regard to wine approval. It always goes more towards products that are similar. About my tastes personally, I admire some producers of bio-dynamic wines (Radikon, Movia chaplain and all).
WHITE: Who do you make wine for?
FRANCIS: First for myself, then for all those who love wine, trying to get through my products, interest and emotions. Finally, even for someone who is passionate about, trying to educate people drinking well.
WHITE: Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today.
FRANCIS: Sagrantino is the flagship product of my company. It ‘a wine very distinctive, with a strong tannic, structured but also elegant, with its typical aromas of blackberry and balsamic and roasted. It is definitely not a sipping wine, is a product Drinking in certain situations, combined with special dishes and structured.
WHITE: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?
FRANCIS: I love to drink a glass of Sagrantino during Winter in front of a beautiful crackling fire, perhaps with friends. In combination with a Sagrantino beef stew with potatoes stir, or a roast caggiagione.
WHITE: In your opinion, what makes the Umbria region so special?
FRANCIS: Umbria is a beautiful land. With its forests, lakes, mountains and rivers. It ‘also called the green heart of Italy. What makes it special is the fact that there is still tovano products wonderful and authentic. There are small producers that keep well balance the line with tradition. They must, in addition to wine tasting cheese, meat, oil and pulses that characterize us. Also earth gives us exceptional products spontaneous wild herbs, truffles, mushrooms, wild asparagus …
WHITE: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?
FRANCIS: These days we are wrapping all the equipment in the new cellar, which we recently completed. The next step will be opened a small tavern in the company where I will personally of the cuisine, offering, in addition to my wine, products grown by me or small local producers.
WHITE: How would you recommend people approach your wines and wine in general?
FRANCIS: With an open mind from schemes, with tranquility, passion and above with humility, seeking to understand that behind a glass of wine is a work hard and long ..
WHITE: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
FRANCIS: I invite readers to triovare time to come in Umbria, is a pleasure to host you in my winery.
WHITE: Thank you so much for your time. We learned a lot about you – and your wine. Keep up the great work, we are big fans!
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The approximate location of the Raina in Sagrantino can be seen in this satellite photo.