Tabarrini Sagrantino di Montefalco Review | Uncorking Value in Obscurity
The Tabarrini Sagrantino di Montefalco is not exactly a new find. But after a confluence of factors oddly converged I decided I needed to share this relatively obscure yet deeply rewarding wine. It’s one I’ve really enjoyed several times and I have several resting to track its evolution.
A few weeks ago a friend asked me about which bottles I thought might “blow you away” that could be found around the $30 price point. I assured him that it can certainly be done, though it might take some effort to do so. Immediately the Tabarrini Sagrantino di Montefalco came to mind, but I thought it might not be worth sharing due to its scarcity.
I had thought that Sagrantino was only grown in the small town of Montefalco in Umbria, Italy (with a mere 250 acres of vines dedicated to Sagrantino, mind you). That is until I recently came across an offering from Italian-centric winery Bennessere Vineyards in Napa that just so happens to produce a bottling from their tiny half-acre parcel of estate grown Sagrantino.
Intrigued, I ordered a bottle of Benessere’s Sagrantino and decided it was time I share my adoration for wine that introduced me to this interesting varietal: Tabarrini’s Sagrantino di Montefalco.
Appearance: A deep and dark yet vibrantly hued crimson red.
Nose: A perfumed, focused nose reveals smoky dark cherries, violets, graphite and toasted cedar.
On the palate: The Tabarrini Sagrantino di Montefalco is medium to full-bodied and quite muscular, yet despite it’s structure and richness it remains very well-balanced and never comes across as heavy. The dark cherries and currants are pure and sweet and are further nuanced by notes of violet, charcoal, licorice and smoke. It finishes dry and grippy with polished, finely grained tannin.
Varietal Composition: Sagrantino
Origin: Montefalco, Umbria, Italy
Value Rating: 5 / 5
Price: $25 (Averages $33 according to Wine-Searcher)
Should you buy? It is well worth delving deeper than your local grocery store’s wine section to find the Tabarrini Sagrantino di Montefalco. It offers a compelling combination of uniqueness, boldness, refinement and sheer value. This is serious wine at a seriously reasonable price.
Value Proposition – Tabarrini Sagrantino di Montefalco 2008 Review
The Sagrantino grape is notoriously tannic and it shows… After 7 years of bottle age and a 5 hour decant prior to tasting, the 2008 Tabarrini Sagrantino di Montefalco is still showing a primary, boldly structured personality. I’m curious to taste this again in two to five years and believe it could possibly even merit a higher score in time.
While Umbria might be celebrated for it’s white wines, the Sangratino being produced there from it’s hilltop clay soils continues to fly under the radar yet warrants it’s own special attention.
The hot days and cooling nightly breezes from the surrounding Apennines Mountains provide a unique and optimal climate for the Sagrantino to thrive. It’s relative obscurity means that it might take a little more effort to find it, but it also means that you’re not paying for the cachet of say Napa Cabernet or a Super Tuscan, and I’ll happily raise a glass to that!