Montafalco Sagrantino is one of the great unsung heroes of Italian red wine. And when I say unsung, I mean in the sense of the wider wine-drinking public. Sommeliers and passionate followers of Italian wine have known about it forever, and often swoon over its deep expressiveness, its age-worthiness, and its astoundingly fair prices. All of this was driven home yet again when I recently had the opportunity to taste two standout bottlings, both reviewed below. I highly recommend them both, especially alongside the hearty dishes of the holiday season.
Scacciadiavoli Montefalco Sagrantino 2008
Amazing color retention, almost non-existant bricking at the edge of the dark cherry skin color. Aromas of leather, cigar tobacco, cardamom, licorice, cinnamon, plum, and a hint of vanilla-tinged pastry creme. On the palate, this shows black licorice, charred vanilla pod, baseball-mitt leather, dark cigar tobacco, and a bit of porcini dust. Gorgeous and powerful, and all framed by seriously structured tannins that also carry with them a hint of black tea.
Perticaia Montefalco Sagrantino 2010
Fascinating nose of beef carpaccio and creamy dark cherries, all kissed with spice. These turn to a savory palate cut through by beautifully ripe yet still drying tannins, lifting flavors of dark cherry, dried violets, ripe mulberries, and spice (black peppercorn most prevalent among them), with an oolong and black-tea finish. Delicious, and begging for food.