On the Road with the Grape Guy

On the Road with the Grape Guy is a on-going feature that follows me from event to event ... I post my thoughts, feelings and reviews of what happened and what I tasted ... basically it is here that I review the events I attend and the things that thrilled me.

Montefalco Rosso - Anteprima Sagrantino

08 Nov 2023


Montefalco the RoomRosso is an exciting category. It is the most approachable wine of the area. The wines are dominated by Sangiovese, Merlot and Sagrantino blends - with the lesser grape being Sangrantino; and no longer mentioned on the label, to elevate Sagrantino and protect it.

Sometimes winemakers stray from the norm and insert such grapes as Montepulciano, Barbera, Refosco or Tannat. The first three on that list are for those purists who want to keep the blend more indigenous, which also makes for a more interesting wine.

Rosso are the wines ready to drink now, while you wait for the Sagrantino to mellow – although a well-made Rosso can still be a ten year lie down. 36 wines were tried, 27 made my list - a 75% success rate, one of the highest ratios of any of the Montefalco tastings, even more impressive, better than a third were rated "better". This is truly a very exciting time for Montefalco Rosso.

Bocale 2020 Montefalco Rosso DOC ... (Better)
Cocco Ilaria 2018 Montefalco Rosso DOC - Camorata ... (Better)
Colpetrone 2020 Montefalco Rosso DOC ... (Better)
Dionigi 2019 Montefalco Rosso DOC ... (Better)
Fattoria Colsanto 2019 Montefalco Rosso DOC ... (Better)
Le Cimate 2019 Montefalco Rosso DOC ... (Better)
Luca di Tomaso 2019 Montefalco Rosso DOC ... (Better)
Moretti Omero 2020 Montefalco Rosso DOC ... (Better)
Tenute Lunelli - Tenuta Castelbuono 2020 Montefalco Rosso DOC - Ziggurat ... (Better)
Terre de' Trinci 2020 Montefalco Rosso DOC ... (Better)
Valdangius 2018 Montefalco Rosso DOC - Pippinello ... (Better)

Arnaldo Caprai 2021 Montefalco Rosso DOC ... (Good)
Arnaldo Caprai 2021 Montefalco Rosso DOC - Vigna Flaminia Maremmana ... (Good)
Colle Ciocco 2019 Montefalco Rosso DOC ... (Good)
Di Filippo 2020 Montefalco Rosso DOC ... (Good)
Goretti - Fattoria le Mura Saracene 2020 Montefalco Rosso DOC ... (Good)
La Fonte 2019 Montefalco Rosso DOC - Collefreddo ... (Good)
Montioni 2019 Montefalco Rosso DOC ... (Good)
Tenuta Bellafonte 2020 Montefalco Rosso DOC - Pomontino ... (Good)
Tenuta di Saragano 2017 Montefalco Rosso DOC - Saragano ... (Good)
Tenute Baldo 2020 Montefalco Rosso DOC - Volo del Falco ... (Good)

Adanti 2018 Montefalco Rosso DOC ... (OK)
Antonelli 2020 Montefalco Rosso DOC ... (OK)
Benedetti & Grigi 2019 Montefalco Rosso DOC - Attunis ... (OK)
Romanelli 2019 Montefalco Rosso DOC - Capo de Casa ... (OK)
Scacciadiavoli 2020 Montefalco Rosso DOC ... (OK)
Tudernum 2020 Montefalco Rosso DOC - Fidenzio ... (OK)

Rosso Riserva Montefalco

I wish I could say the name for the reserve a category. For the most part, this is an underachieving category full of over-oaked and uninspiring wines. These are wines pulled out of Rosso or Sagrantino production ... They might want to think about losing this category, or creating something more exciting with it ... "Cru" (or single vineyard / field blends) grade wines might be an option.

Tasted 17 of these wines, one received a best of category, the rest. Good-to-okay. There are only seven wines on this list. The lowest ratio of tasted to scored.

Tenuta di Saragano 2017 Montefalco Rosso Riserva DOC
-- There's some real complexity here that is not all wood derived - the spice and fruit play nicely on the long finish and there is age-ability of 5-10 years ... (Best)

Adanti 2016 Montefalco Rosso Riserva DOC   ... (Good)
Moretti Omero 2018 Montefalco Rosso Riserva DOC - Faccia Tosta  ... (Good)
Perticaia 2018 Montefalco Rosso Riserva DOC   ... (Good)
Tenute Lunelli - Tenuta Castelbuono 2019 Montefalco Rosso Riserva DOC - Lampante  ... (Good)

Romanelli 2018 Montefalco Rosso Riserva DOC - Molinetta  ... (OK)
Valdangius 2018 Montefalco Rosso Riserva DOC   ... (OK)


PRA Winery Podcast Tie-in

01 Nov 2023

(July 2023) ... We sat down with Diego Corradi, the export manager for PRA winery in the Veneto region of Soave to discuss all things Soave and Valpolicella - the white and the red wines of the area. You can listen to our podcast here, but below are some of the highlights and the reviews of the wines we tasted.

PRA is a classical Soave producer, owning 40 hectares and six "crus" of the grape which grows at the higher elevation areas of the region, in volcanic soils. The grape that makes Soave is Garganega and Diego describes it as a very malleable grape, like Chardonnay. The laws for the area state 70% of Soave can be Garganega ... But PRA likes to use 100%. Interesting to note that their Soave was sealed under screwcap, and has been since 2010 - during our interview, we learned that screwcap has not always been allowed, and that it was not possible to use one on a wine bearing the "classico" label until 2015. Now all of PRA's white wines are sealed with a screwcap. But for 5 years this winery was ahead of the curve.

2021 Otto - Soave Classico
You can learn all about the name by listening to the podcast, let it be said here though that it is named after a dog - the rest of the story here. This 100% Garganega sits on fine lees in stainless steel for 6 months, giving the wine a creamy mid-palate before rolling into green apple and minerality on the finish. An easy wine to sip on, especially on a hot afternoon.

We moved on from Soave to talk Valpolicella, something that PRA has only been making since 2006. The wine we tried was "Morandina", the name given to their "cru" that sits on the eastern side at high elevation. That elevation helped explain the bone shaking acidity within the wine.

2021 Morandina Valpolicella
Sour cherry and raspberry fruit co-mingle with red currants and mouth-puckering acidity. Clean and precise, a wine that needs a meal.

To listen to the full interview with Diego of PRA, follow this link.


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