On the Road with the Grape Guy

Day One of Tastings - Montefalco 2023

14 Dec 2023

(April 2023) … I absolutely love the way the PR company (Miriade & Partners) puts these days of Montefalco together. Day one is a choice between a half dozen pre-set schedules, which include lunch and dinner. In my opinion, day one should be easy – you’ve just arrived and it is time to get your bearings in a new locale. They make it easy and should be commended. Below are the list of impressive wines tasted (and by extension the places I visited) during this pre-set visit.

Wineries: Lungarotti, Bocale, Alzatura, Terre di San Felice and Tabarrini.

Lungarotti BarrelLungarotti 2021 Il Bio
This is supposed to be a younger, fresher version of Sagrantino. Notes of cough drop along with black and blue berry; good acidity but still has some aggressiveness of tannins.  (*** ½)

Lungarotti (Rubesco) 2018 Vigna Monticchio Riserva (Torgiano)    
From the Torgiano area, and considered Lungarotti’s most important wine overall in their portfolio. Single vineyard located in the highest of the region: 15 hectares, 12 planted. Elegant and sour-cranberry fruit with nice spice from the fruit and the wood.  (****+)

Lungarotti 2017 Passito    
Figs and dates soaked in spiced-honey.  (*** ½+)

Lungarotti 2018 San Giorgio (Super Umbrian)
(50 / 50 - Cabernet Sauvignon – Sangiovese)
This wine is aged in French oak: darker fruit with an elegant structure and well developed flavours.  (****)


Bocale 2022 Spoletino
(Trebbiano Spoletini)
Nice and fresh with grapefruit and pineapple notes plus there’s a little peach pit on the finish. Gets better with each sip.  (****)

Bocale 2018 Montefalco Sagrantino Bocale Welcome
Very approachable and tasty with smoky, cocoa, blackberry, cassis and a hint of leather; plus other dark fruits swing in and out with each sip. Some licorice and subtle dark candy undertones also make an appearance.  (****+)

Bocale 2019 Montefalco Sagrantino - Ennio
(Sagrantino) - limited edition
Not only is this wine aged in wood for two years, but most of the work (punch downs, etc.) are done by current owner’s (Valentino) father (Ennio) – which is from whom the wine takes its name. Blackberry and black smoke that packs quite the tannin punch – this one needs time and lots of it.  (****)

Bocale 2020 Montefalco Rosso
(70% Sangiovese / 15% Merlot / 10% Sagrantino / 5% Colorino)
Nice red fruit notes with smoke, cassis and mocha all playing a role.  (****)

Alzatura WhiteTenuta Alzatura 2020 Biano - Aria di Casa
(Trebbiano Spoletini)
Although the white wine spends 6 months in a mix of new (30%) and older (70%) “larger” oak; it has a lovely lightness and freshness with some salty qualities; delicate notes of peach with pineapple on the nose.  (****)

Terre di San Felice 2022 Trebbiano Spoletino
(Trebbiano Spoletini)
This winery started in 2010 and produces some 8-to-9000 bottles per year. This Spoletini is salty with notes of yellow grapefruit pith.  (*** ½)

Terre di San Felice 2020 Montefalco Rosso
(65% Sangiovese / 25% Merlot / 10% Sagrantino)
Quite sippable and approachable with some tannin bite.  (*** ½+)

Terre di San Felice 2018 Montefalco Rosso Riserva
(65% Sangiovese / 20% Merlot / 15% Sagrantino)
See note above, the similarities suggest a house-style. Adds in licorice and mocha to the mix, which is significantly smokier than its predecessor.  (*** ½)

Terre di San Felice 2019 Montefalco Rosso
Cocoa powder and smoke with blackberry tannins and blueberry grit - tannins are aggressive, but I've had worse.  (*** ½+)

Terre di San Felice 2019 Sagrantino Vinum Dei Vinum Dei
A small portion is aged in Anfor (12), Tonneau (12) and then all goes into bottle (4) minimum (months) – all numbers reported are in months. The fruit is very forward on sip one, while the tannins show up on sip 3, dry and dense.  (****+)

Terre di San Felice 2019 Passito
Smooth and silky with an herbal core that makes it much more interesting and seems to keep it from being too sweet; one of the nicest Passitos tasted through the entire trip.  (****+)


Tabarrini 2018 Camp alla Cerqua    
Tabarrini is all about the single vineyard experience of Sagrantino, forgoing the idea of Riserva – this makes the wine much more interesting: Juicy and fruit forward with good acidity and tannin punch.  (****+)

Tabarrini 2018 Colle Grimaldesco
Red fruit dominated, nice acidity, long finish with some big alcohol detected on both the nose and palate – but, it’s still a delicious wine.  (****)

Tabarrini 2018 Colle alle Macchie
Dusty, acidic, tannins are there, but well managed, there's a nice richness to this wine.  (****)

Tabarrini 2019 Il Bisbetico Domato
This is the newest “cru” for Tabarrini, it spends 12 months on the skins, 2 years in wooden barrels and a long time aging in bottle. Grapes come from a portion of the vineyard used for the Colle alle Macchie. This is to be the fourth “cru” from the winery, and there is something about it we can’t be told right away (one day). This is a very pretty and floral wine with dusty and smoky notes, plus blackberry and cassis. Round finish. Very mouth pleasing.  (****+)


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