The wines of Adanti strike me as particularly massive and extracted. The estate uses only tonneaux and botti for the ageing of their wines, so most of the massive tannins are certainly coming from the fruit, and in fact there is so much fruit, in addition to the fruit tannins, that one hardly notices the affects of the oak aging.
What to expect: SagrantinoSagrantino originates from the region of Umbria, in Italy, where it produces big, full bodied, and intense red wines that are packed full of tannin and acidity. The flavors typically recall blackberry, raspberry and plum, with notes of licorice, earth and tar. Sagrantino is often blended with softer varieties to help tame the tannins, in which case the wine is bottled as Rosso di Montefalco.
This region of Umbria is a bit roughly hewn and quite dry, much like the wines produced from Sagrantino. Sagrantino is a bit of an anomaly as a grape with no known close relatives. It’s a true indigenous variety and is only grown in any significant amount in the Montefalco region.
Even here in it’s home. Sagrantino has barely retained a foothold. The variety was almost lost in the middle of the last century and as of 1970 there were a scant 5 hectares being cultivated. Current production has exploded but remains modest at about 250 acres under vine spread among some 50 or so producers.
The wines were traditionally made in a sweet style, from dried grapes: Passito de Sagrantino. The name Sagrantino is most likely derived from its use to produce these sweet wines for Church activities; Sacer being latin for sacred.
The wines were produced in a sweet style for many reasons, such as the inability of many native yeasts to ferment these powerful wines fully dry. However, Sagrantino is arguably the most tannic grape on the planet, and does not lack for acidity, so the residual sugar helps give the passito wines a balance that many of the dry wines lack.
The passito wines were given DOC status in 1983 but the dry Sagrantino had to wait until 1991 to receive official status, in this case as DOCG. Sagrantino di Montefalco is a wine based on 100% Sagrantino that is aged for a minimum of 28 months in a combination of wood and bottle. Even these 30 months (36 months from 2009 and going forward) do very little to begin to soften the tannins in the wines.
A blend is also produced in the region, Rosso di Montefalco, which is based on Sangiovese with additions of 10 to 15 percent Sagrantino as well as 15 to 30 percent of other grapes. These other grapes have frequently been traditional Tuscan blending grapes or Montepulciano d’Abruzzo though more and more one find Cabernet, or more often Merlot, finding their way into the mix. It is also possible to produce the Rosso as a Riserva bottling by ageing it for at least 30 months in a combination of barrel and bottle.
Well that’s a brief rundown of the situation. The wines tend to be exceptional tannic and packed with dry extract and polyphenols, the highest known levels of polyphenols in wine in fact, and by a significant margin as the chart shows.
Adanti is both one of the historic producers of Sagrantino di Montefalco, as well as one of the largest. With 32 hectares (about 80 acres) under vine and a lineage that reaches back to the 1960’s, which is quite long for the region, they are poised to become major players in the Sagrantino scene.
The wines of Adanti strike me as particularly massive and extracted. The estate uses only tonneaux and botti for the ageing of their wines, so most of the massive tannins are certainly coming from the fruit, and in fact there is so much fruit, in addition to those fruit tannins, that one hardly notices the affects of the oak aging.