Tag Archives: Umbria

Falesco – Vinitaly 2015

Le Pòggere 2014
A bit soapy at first, but showing the same crispness and focus. Bright a bit candied from the malvasia, nice freshness of acidity from the traminer, and a bit of crunch from the roschetto.

Vitiano Bianco 2014
Nice subtle floral notes, a bit of melon lychee. Very fresh on the palate, not bright and crunchy, more textural and round, lovely wine. I like it.

Tellus Oro 2014
Kind of an oiliness on the nose, quite rich on the palate but still very fresh, with some fruit sweetness as well.

Soente Viognier 2014
Very viognier like, but not fat or rich, quite lean tight and focused. Actually a very good example!

Ferentano 2012
Creamy caramel nutty notes, round sweet texture, creaminess with some ripe stone fruits.

Vitiano Rosato 2014
Nice and bright, lovely fresh strawberries, sweet fruit textures, quite a bit riper than the 2012, but very very drinkable.

Vitiano Rosso 2013
A nice crunchiness on the nose, quite sweet in dark fruits, soft and mellow but a good amount of freshness on the palate. Really good.

Poggere Rosso 2013
Has that crunchy tight spicy impression, but now a bit fuller and rounder on the palate, still a good amount of freshness and drive though.

Vitiano Cabernet 2012
It’s fine.

Tellus Syrah 2013
Nice subtle herbal note, good intensity of tannin, very vibrant and fresh, a great drinking wine.

Trentanni 2012
Solid, very solid. Very good freshness, at least oak isn’t getting in the way and complicating things.

Montiano 2012
Super tight tannins need plenty of time to soften up and open out, but good balanced acidity will keep this wine living a long time.

Marciliano 2011
It’s pretty good, but Montiano is better.

R2 Sagrantino di Montefalco 2009
Tannins, it’s got plenty of them…

A giant bottle of Falesco Trentanni

A giant bottle of Falesco Trentanni

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The Vincast with Jacopo Cossater

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.

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Jacopo Cossater

Jacopo Cossater

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Palazzone – 23/04/2012

Terre Vineate Orvieto Superiore 2011
Very fresh and bright with apples and kiwis on the nose, bold and textural on the palate and some intense minerality and richness as well.

Grek 2011
Made from 100% grechetto, which is not allowed in the DOC and thus is classifies as an IGT wine. Had a richer yellow colour and more intense nose of grapefruit and cumquat, had great elegance and purity on the palate, and whilst approachable and fresh had some complexity and texture.

Campo del Guardino Orvieto Superiore 2009
The most complex of the white wines but also the richest and most expressive. On the nose there was both delicate florals and elegant herbs and spices, but also citrus and tropical notes too, whilst on the palate was mineralic and focused, with rich ripe fruit and texture.

Rubbio 2010
A blend of 60% sangiovese, and 20% each of cabernet sauvignon and merlot, showed quite spicy dark red fruits on the nose, with a mellow and rich earthy texture and softness, adding in some herbal warmth complexity.

Piviere 2009
A 100% sangiovese red wine, and had lovely sweet and mellow dark fruits, was very juicy and intense, but showed some nutty oak elements with the fresh red currant acidity.

Giovanni Dubini has good taste

Giovanni Dubini has good taste

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Cantina Fratelli Pardi – 24/04/2012

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.

Sacrantino 2007
A single vineyard sagrantino wine, some very explosive power and fruit sweetness, very concentrated and hot, quite out of balance.

The all important wine press at Fratelli Pardi

The all important wine press at Fratelli Pardi

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Romanelli – 24/04/2012

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.

Predama 2009
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.

Bird house on the Romanelli estate

Bird house on the Romanelli estate

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Arnaldo Caprai – 24/04/2012

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.

An Umbrian cooking class at Arnaldo Caprai

An Umbrian cooking class at Arnaldo Caprai

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Polarising (Umbria, Italy – Day Three)

I have had the pleasure of meeting a great many people who work in wine over the course of my journey who have all imparted wisdom to me, and I hope that I have given some small amount in return as this is the essence of wine communication, that in travels in two directions. Most of the people have been hosts at wineries that I have visited, but a few of them I either met also visiting wineries or simply in unconnected situations, like a woman who consults business strategy and communication to small wineries in Italy whilst having lunch in Beaune, France. Someone I met whilst in Sicily was a wine journalist and blogger originally from Verona but now living with his recently married wife in Perugia. At the time he was making a much smaller version of my own journey in the south of Italy, including Campania, Calabria, Molise and Abruzzo. His name is Jacopo Cossater and he not only contributes to the most important wine magazine in Italy and the most visited wine website in Italy, but he also regularly writes on his own site enoicheillusioni. We met whilst visiting one of my favourite winemakers in Italy, Arianna Occhipinti, and shared some discussions over several meals whilst in Sicily. I was thrilled to catch up over dinner with Jacopo and his lovely wife Laura with my parents when we visited Perugia, and even more so when he invited me to visit a few of his favourite producers around Perugia in Montefalco and Spoleto. Regretfully I forgot to bring my camera so the images in this post have been taken with many thanks from the websites of the producers in question.
Vines are only outnumbered by olive trees here

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Collecapretta – 10/01/2013

2012 Trebbiano Spoletino
Again, lovely floral aromatics, juicy fresh musky, clean salty stone fruits. Some sharpness but also crispness, sweet core of fruit with lots of body and weight, nice roundness and density, not too fruity but generous and full of character.

Terre dei Preti 2011
Same orange colour, skin contact and oxygen contact. Honeyed syrupy dried floral, glazed apricot, betrays the wine as it smells like a dessert wine. Syrupy and weighty like a dessert wine, textural and full in flavour, consistent with aromatics. Sharp and plenty of acidity, but not a commercial wine in my opinion. Too different.

Il Rosato 2011
Apparently closed initially, tight and savoury at first, a little wild and earthy, very interesting for a rose wine, expect more fruit. Full warm and dense, very ripe and rich in darker fruit, certainly savoury with some sharpness to it but a fascinating style of rose. Great food wine, opening up over time. Raspberries and red apricots, plenty of acidity.

Le cese Sangiovese 2010
Deep dark earthy and intense, full rough around the edges, savoury and rustic, oodles of black fruit. Sweet core of black fruits, dark molasses consistency, very late harvested and quite hot. Not heavy or aggressive tannins, but extremely hot, hiding a lot of the other components of the wine.

Selezione Le Cese 2007
Wild earthy savoury meaty and leathery, dark red fruits, oxidatively old-world. Intense bright and fresh on the front, wonderful fruit and density, plenty of tannin and warmth, intense round and generous, extremely high quality, a product of the vintage and the vines, delicate and very long finish.

Le Cese 2005
Tighter and more focused, earthy and sharp, dusty and the character of bosco, a tad green, lean and mean. Fresh and intense, good sound dark fruits, round and dense with plenty of depth. Concentrated full and warm. Lovely generous tannins, nice and round, less characteristically old-world, could possibly come from anywhere. Great with parmigiano.

Copyright Az.Agr.Mattioli Vittorio Aprile 2011

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Paolo Bea – 10/01/2013

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.

©2005 Paolobea.com

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My house in Umbria (Umbria, Italy – Day Two)

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

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