In 2007, with only an avid interest in wine, Jacopo Cossater decided to chronicle his wine journey and education via a blog called Enoiche Illusioni. Initially it was only a way for him to record his experiences tasting wines, but eventually he began to notice people reading and commenting on his posts. He was asked to become a contributor to a new kind of wine blog – a communal wine blog – called Intravino, that continues to be both popular and controversial. Now Jacopo has set his sights on sharing unique Italian wine stories written by Italians with the rest of the world, which he intends to do with English-translated Settembre. We chatted about his background and what he hopes this new publication will be.
Tag Archives: Montefalco
Grechetto Colli Martani 2011
Very generous and fruity, with some lime and kiwi notes and good fresh texture and acidity.
Montefalco Bianco 2011
A little softer and simpler, very balanced and fresh but also quite bland and thin.
Trebbiano Spoletino 2011
Had a fuller and more brooding ripeness and texture, showing some guava and pear spice, interesting minerals and texture with some warmth and intensity.
Montefalco Rosso 2009
Combining cumin and blackberry with intense bright focus and freshness, reminding me a little of some of the refosco wines of Friuli.
Sagrantino di Montefalco 2007
Had good volume and density, with some earthy tannic qualities and length, very well-balanced and approachable.
A single vineyard sagrantino wine, some very explosive power and fruit sweetness, very concentrated and hot, quite out of balance.
Grechetto dei Colli Mantani 2011
Had a slightly wild asparagus and kumquat nose, with citrus freshness on the palate coupled with some herbal elements, a very approachable easy white wine.
Blends 80% sangiovese with 10% sagrantino and 10% merlot, and had a generous soft and full fruit character, but was still very fresh and approachable, with red fruits and good acids. It was not really a wine of distinction and could easily be reproduced in many other places.
Montefalco Rosso 2008
A rustic ripe black fruit nose, was very well balanced and light on the palate with fresh fruits and tannins, and was a great food wine.
Montefalco Sagrantino 2008
Had a gentle brick red colour, and on the nose combined barbecue sauce, gherkin and tomato. On the palate the wine was intense yet soft with structure and mellow elegance.
Montefalco Sagrantino 2007
Much more intense and dark, and had less integration and elegance, looking more aggressive and hotter.
Sagrantino Passito 2008
Some fig and prunes on the nose with the same briny quality of the 2008 Sagrantino, opulent and full on the palate with balanced sweetness and focus.
Anima Umbria 2011
A blend of 85% grechetto and 15% trebbiano, which had very grassy wild herb and kiwi elements on the nose, expressing leesy apple texture on the palate. Whilst it was very fresh and vibrant it was a little simple and without character.
Grechante Grechetto Colli Martani DOC 2011
A much riper and fuller depth and power, very fruit forward yet rich in minerality and warmth.
Montefalco Rosso 2009
A blend of mostly sangiovese and sagrantino, but can have up to 25% other varieties both native and otherwise. Showed very peppery blackberry fruit sweetness, and also expressed some sweet oak tannin and tightness of tannin and acid, bold yet fresh and approachable.
Montefalco Rosso Riserva 2006
A typically new world heavy oak character of ripe banana skin with some vanilla and bruised blackcurrant notes, and was quite hot and a little clunky.
Collepiano Sagrantino di Montefalco 2007
Had a nice dusty earthy blackcurrant nose, quite inviting, but being my first sagrantino wine I did not expect the tannins which were very intense. In spite of this the tannins were all on the front of the palate, and the wine finished fresh and juicy with some wild herb and black fruits, a tad hot though.
25th Anniversary Sagrantino di Montefalco 2007
Much more subtle and integrated than the Collepiano, showing less obvious oak influence and tannin intensity, with some caramel and cigar-box tightness on the palate.
25th Anniversary Sagrantino di Montefalco 2008
More savoury, elegant and fresh, a lot lighter and tighter with more potential for cellaring.
|Vines are only outnumbered by olive trees here|
2012 Trebbiano Spoleto
Incredibly aromatic, very floral with some musk characteristics not unlike moscato, nice spicy apricot and peach, some aniseed and anejo. Textural wild and dense, full and concentrated, dark and brooding for a white wine, chewy and gruff, skin contact and lees having a huge impact on texture and weight.
2011 Trebbiano Spoleto
Very different fruit notes, brighter fresher and cleaner but no less complex; seashell salinity, very oyster mussel like, quince citrus. Lighter fresher and more pure on the palate, less spice and more honey elements, less density and rough edges, cleaner fruit profile and finish. Nicer balance and approachability. Still has a nice savoury sharpness to it, less than the 2012.
2010 Trebbiano Spoleto
Significantly more colour development. Darker riper and more concentrated fruit nose, almost stewed and preserved apricots and nectarines, honey spice and dried floral elements. Opulent oily texture, generous and rich, some seashell but good integrated fruit, more complex and long, balanced and subtle.
Arboreus Trebbiano Spoleto 2009
Natural wine colour, quite orange, huge impact from the extended skin contact. Smells like a dessert wine, somewhere between passito and vinsanto. Smoky spicy honey bacon, limited fruit, very different aromatically. Dense round yet sharp and focused, biting and quite aldehydic. Honeyed banana warmth and density, but still fresh. Unlike any white wine I’ve tasted, somewhat acquired, far from approachable in style. Polarising wine.
San Valentino Rosso Umbria 2006
Fairly closed aromatically, deep dark berry fruits with some spicy plum in there, a little floral. Dense rich ripe ruby intense savoury and sweet at the same time, generous velvety and full, but not heavy nor too aggressive. Nice long tannins. Bright fresh and yet complex.
San Valentino Rosso Umbria 2007
Deeper and more intense, ripe and dark, more earthiness. More dark chocolate influence. Fuller and denser tannins, cleaner less complex finish, plum blackberries, cocoa and coffee.
Pipparello Rosso di Montefalco Riserva 2006
Savoury earthy old world stink, leathery and slightly meaty, more red fruits. Tighter and brighter, more savoury than fruity, straighter and more integrated with balance between fruit and savoury. A lot more complex as well, seriously long tannins.
Rosso de Veo Umbria IGT 2005
Extreme old world lack of freshness, oxidative oxidised VA, wild and untamed, little to no fruit. Hot wild intense meaty complex, leathery and oxidised. In my humble opinion faulty. In a natural wine lovers opinion, gloriously complex.
Pagliaro Sagrantino di Montefalco 2005
More integrated and complex, certainly more approachable and relatable. Complex in an old bottle kind of way. Very intense and dark with lot’s of tannin and oodles of structure, round long full and dark but still bright. Typical of sagrantino(?)
Pagliaro Sagrantino di ontefalco 2006
Most certainly faulty, not sure what it is but it is faulty. Too wild and extreme. Undrinkable. Bottle..?
The only wine that suits this approach is the passito wine. The sugar perhaps hides all the flaws with this approach. There is a reason people don’t make wine like this any more.
According to my host the previous day, Orvieto is not traditionally considered part of Umbria, as it is closer to Lazio and Tuscany with an Etruscan heritage. Central Umbria had a much more rustic history, being very simple farmers. This part of Umbria has garnered a lot more attention recently thanks to their red wines, most notably in the Montefalco area where the sagrantino grape is king. In the past Sagrantino di Montefalco was a passito sweet wine that was consumed as a table wine with food. It was traditionally the wine that would be drunk with breakfast on Easter Sunday each year, as the first wine drunk after lent. The breakfast was naturally very hearty, including slow-roasted lamb, cured meats and egg, and would last several hours. Back in the 1970s they began to introduce viticultural practices from other parts of Europe in Umbria, and this changed grape and wine production in the region. With the former trellising systems there were high volumes of grapes produced, which meant to achieve the ripeness necessary for the sweet wines in particular, the harvest was usually not until late October. With new pruning practices introduced and more intense plantings, yields were reduced and ripening occurred earlier, with harvests beginning in September. Thus began the serious production of dry red wines from one of the most tannic red varieties possible. Sagrantino is tough to grow, but is quite malleable in terms of ripeness levels and vinification practices, and from what I tasted there is no defined style as yet, it is up to the producer. As the understanding of the variety and the terroir improves so will the quality of the wines.
|Bush-trained sagrantino vines|