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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Montefalco Wines Deliver The Heart of Italy

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The Montefalco wine region is in the heart of Italy’s Umbria province. The Umbrians are believed to be the oldest people in Italy, dating back to the 9th century BC. The city of Montefalco is surrounded by 12th century walls and from its hill you can spy the picturesque valley, nearby towns and the Martani mountains.

Oh yes, did I mention they make fantastic wine?

I was fortunate to recently sample the 2011 Grecante white from Arnaldo Caprai, which is from the Colli Martani DOC. The whites in Montefalco are made from the native Grechetto or Trebbiano. The Grecante is 100% Grechetto.

The Grechetto is pale yellow in color with a light body and floral aroma. The wine is finished in stainless steel and offers good acidity and a nice freshness. It offers interesting flavors of pear and pineapple with a hint of earthiness. It’s a refreshing white – ideal to break you out of the Chardonnay rut.

On the red side of the aisle, we also sampled the 2009 Antonelli Montefalco Rosso. I really like Montefalco reds for a pair of reasons. They feature Sangiovese, a smooth red grape we simply love, plus the unique Sagrantino grape, which gives structure to the blend.

The Antonelli Montefalco Rosso is medium ruby in color.  It is a blend of 65% Sangiovese, 15% Sagrantino, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Merlot. Each grape variety is fermented separately and then blended before aging for nine months in oak casks. The wine spends another three months in Fiberglass-lined cement vats.

We enjoyed this wine on a nice summer evening around a fire pit – so that may explain why we detected a smoky aroma! The Antonelli had flavors of toffee and vanilla. The Sangio and Sagrantino really rock this wine. It’s a good match for (surprise) pasta, red meat and hard cheese.

Montefalco wines are worth discovering. They reward with deep and distinctive flavors and pair smartly with Italian foods.

Full disclosure: These wines were received as marketing samples.

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