2004 Arnaldo Caprai Rosso Outsider IGT

Mission Codename: The Outsider

Operative: Agent White

Objective: Secure a very limited allocation of an exclusive Umbrian classic

Mission Status: Accomplished!

Current Winery: Arnaldo Caprai

Wine Subject: 2004 Rosso Outsider IGT


Today’s wine hales fro the Montefalco region located 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 from the Sagrantino, Sangiovese and Grechetto grapes along with other non-indigenous varietals such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and others.

In just the last decade, IGT wines became the latest rage in Italian wine in the United States, however, their story goes back to the late 1940s when the famed Sassicaia wine was reportedly made by Incisa della Rochetta using Cabernet Sauvignon vines from Chateau Lafite-Rothschild, or so the legend goes. Broadly, wines designated as Indicazione Geographica Tipica (IGT) could be considered vin de pays. Many of these wines are native grape based with the addition of other varietals such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and all are unique blends that gives the winery much more flexibility with regard to the more stringentGoria DOC and DOCG designations.

Today’s wine however, is only Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot in an even 50%-50% split aged for 18 months in French oak.

Wine Spies Tasting Profile:

Look – Beautifully dark and dense ruby red but is nearly black in its inky heart. Along the edges the the ruby color becomes more apparent and when swirled tight clusters of thin color-stained legs ring the glass and descend at varying speeds.

Smell – Bold and complex aromatics with classic varietal scents of black fruit including dark berries and black licorice and toasted oak. Notes of sweet spice, dark bittersweet chocolate, sweet spice and hints of green herbs lingers and leads you to take a sip.

Feel – Velvet smooth, warm and round on its entry then at mid palate the sturdy but extremely fine grained tannins blend with its lively acidity and powdered minerality creating an expansive and chewy mouth feel.

Taste – Rich and intense but well developed and integrated as well with abundant ripe dark fruit including blackberry, black cherry, plum and cassis that blend with black licorice, toasted oak, sweet and hot spice and bittersweet chocolate.

Finish – Extremely long with the dark berries fading first leaving lingering licorice, bittersweet chocolate, spice and a touch of bitter cherry pit; the terroir driven minerality and finely grained tannins dries the palate as you reach for another sip.

Conclusion – The 2004 Arnaldo Caprai Rosso Outsider IGT is an elegant and sturdy wine with great varietal character and a great rustic Italian quality. A warm and inviting wine with enough complexity to please the critics but still approachable. In its prime now, enjoy this wine tonight or cellar for a few years. Pair with pan grilled rib-eye steaks, prepared Florentinestyle with garlic, rosemary, olive oil, cracked black pepper and coarse sea-salt.

Wine Spies Vineyard Check:

The location of Arnaldo Caprai in the Montefalcoregion can be seen in this satellite photo.

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