Sagrantino

Name of varietal: Sagrantino

Common synonyms: none

Parentage of the grape: indigenous to Umbria, Italy

History of the grape: Sagrantino is mostly grown around the town of Montefalco in the central Italian region of Umbria. The region Sagrantino di Montefalco was given DOCG status in 1991. The area had been most famous for Montefalco di Sagrantino Passito, made from partially dried grapes, and considered one of the finest Italian dessert wines. However, in the 1970s, the fashion shifted to producing the grape in dry reds. Sagrantino is considered one of the most dark and tannic grapes in the world, akin to Nebbiolo. But unlike Nebbiolo, Sagrantino is not produced for long aging like Barolo or Barbaresco. Wine-makers have figured out that long maceration times and careful barrel aging will tame the harsh tannins and draw out the lush fruit characteristics, while still retaining an earthy and mineral balance. Most dry Sagrantinos are best consumed between five to ten years after release.

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