The nose, redolent of freshly tilled soil, dark roasted coffee, and red plum with prune undertones, hints at the coming conflagration. In the mouth, chocolate and baking spices provide a fleeting moment of repose before the pincer movement arrives quick and bold. The lovely middle seam of juicy fruit struggles mightily for attention against the mouthwatering top-note river of blazing acidity while the tannins spread like wind-stoked wildfires.
Unless you have a well-marbled T-bone handy, this wine isn’t ready yet. Nine years after vintage date the tannins are still sandy and grippy. Tannins aside, the wine isn’t weighty. It’s kept aloft by vibrant acidity which persists from front to back through the long, bracing finish that features bitter, dark chocolate notes. There is a lot of flavor here if you can weather the assault.
The Sagrantino grape is the pride of the Umbrian region of Montefalco in Central Italy. Noted for its firm tannins that winemakers in the region are struggling to control, Sagrantino is beginning to be recognized in the U.S. and is worth seeking out. There is no other wine like it. This wine has years of life left in it.
Bitter, glowering, defiant. Is it angry or anguished? Probably a bit of both, one of the few wines you could pair with Slipknot’s Psychosocial
Technical Notes: Aged in mostly Tonneux for 30 months with 24 months of bottle age before release.
Price: $42 (Purchase here)