A wine memory. 2006. A McLaren Vale connection, an invite through the Kay's of Amery, through Mark Lloyd of Coriole to a dinner with sagrantino wines brought back by friends of the Lloyd's from Montefalco in Umbria. The friends had decided to grab a bunch of the wines they'd brought back and put on a dinner at Fino in Willunga. Another layer to this: the wines had been put together by the people the friends stayed with, at a pensione just off the three-walled historic square of Montefalco. Generosity and friendship, folding over each other.
I hopped on a flight to Adelaide, then to the Vale. Good food, great service from Sharon Romeo, but the wines were my highlight:
- 1998 Adanti Arquata Montefalco
- 1999 Arnaldo-Caprai Montefalco
- 2001 Rocca Di Fabbri Montefalco
- 2002 Fongoli Montefalco
- 2002 Ruggeri Montefalco
- 2002 Scacciadiavoli Montefalco
- 2004 Murry Darling Collection (Project Wine Series), Chalmers (Euston, NSW)
- 2001 Adanti Arquata Montefalco Passito
- 2002 Ruggeri Montefalco Passito
The Caprai and the Scacciadiavoli were my pick of the dry sagrantino wines, with depth of fruit, clarity of expression, acres of ripe tannins and a dusting of bitter cocoa. The Adanti passito wine was also an attractive introduction to the traditional mode of sagrantino.
It was a great night, I was welcomed warmly by a room full of people who didn't know me from Adam, the wines were a gift and we only paid for food. An affirming moment of wine culture for me, and a night that confirmed why sagrantino is worth chasing - as a drink and as a vine.