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Wine Reviews
Under the Umbrian Sun

Ten years ago, Umbria may have been looked at as merely an extension of Tuscany, so close it is as a neighboring wine region. Although it had its merits: crisp and peachy Trebbiano-based Orvieto or fruity Torgiano (sangiovese -based), its rising star emerges: Sagrantino.

 

Marco Caprai mentored Umbria’s entry on the world wine stage

The Champion of Sagrantino is Marco Caprai, who has widened Umbria’s frontiers, expanding technology through spending millions of dollars in research to improve the wine’s powerhouse personality into evolutionary dimensions of aroma, taste and repute.
Sagrantino di Montefalco is Umbria’s indigenous grape, and demonstrating great winemaking abilities, shows itself dynamically through Caprai’s vintages from 1996 to present (2003).
From the little town of Montefalco, which was honored with DOCG status in the early 1990s (no coincidence its synchronicity followed Marco Caprai’s own feats of clonal selections, genotypes and other steps towards improving quality) comes the next wave of “wine that matters.”

Caprai is one of those rare winemakers who stays within the borders of his region, not venturing into Tuscany, or Argentina, or even Napa. Montefalco’s Sagrantino is literally based in the center of Italy, and is home to Caprai’s wines: a varietal of its own, unique, immense yet pleasurable, polychromatic in taste profile and in more specific terms, a red rush of gripping tannins that lets loose – eventually – with spice and blackberry riding tandem.

Arnaldo Caprai Sagrantino di Montefalco label

Arnaldo Caprai Sagrantino di Montefalco, 25th Anniversary, 2003 are from the best grapes on the estate. There’s a freshness to its hearty tannins, its acidity soars, and your mouth experiences a settling of cocoa dust, with a teasing of blackberry tartness, autumn spice and chamomile.

Pairing Sagrantino at Patina
Executive Chef Theo Schoenegger and Sommelier Eric Espuny of Patina, Los Angeles, collaborated on a magnificent menu, pairing Marco Caprai’s Sagrantinos with delectables.

A favorite match was roasted duck, pictured here, with Espuny, who carved it tableside.

Full flavored foods such as venison are divine with Sagrantino di Montefalco