A taste of Umbria: Tabarrini, 2005 Montefalco Sagrantino

This wine review reminds me of me of the very first time I fell in love with a girl. Hard to believe but I was only in second grade, her name Jeanne White and I still remember it to this day. I had a significant rock collection back in the day, and I recall that I gave her one of my favorites. The point of sharing this story is that like that elementary infatuation of love, at first sight, is exactly how I fell about this wine.

This wine from the Montefalco DOCG immediately grabbed my attention, and it was love at first slurp. Hard to admit, but for someone who considers himself a semi-serious vino-sapiens I've never tried this grape before. After having it in my mouth for just a few moments, before my customary "speed-tasting" spew, I was head over heels. Again, here I go, but I freely admit this wine made me say, "WOW." Folks, this is some serious wine, huge, complex and in all respects fits the full definition of "Dry Red-Wine." Make no mistake this is the kind of wine that is going to give their neighbors to the north a run for their money.

If like me you have not given this grape a swirl and you think of yourself as a big fan of Barolos, then you'll want to check into a Montefalco 100% Sagrantino. While the massive tannin structure is an excellent indicator of these wines ability to age, the 2004 and subsequent 2005 Tabarrini Sagrantino paired wonderfully with supreme pizza I had the other night. Both of wines are incredibly approachable right now. However, if you'd like to sit on them a bit and watch them develop further, I think you'll be rewarded nicely. I gave the edge to 2004, just a bit more fruit and overall structure. But honestly, I would not kick either of them out of bed, and both wines would go home the next day with my real phone number, followed up by a call-me text in a couple of days. Of course, I would hope the prettier sister [2004] would call first [just saying].
Even though both wines are very dry, there is enough dark plummy, dark cherry juiciness, coupled with fresh, rich earth flavors to keep you very interested. The structure is complex, some smoked licorice, laid over the considerable tannins (polished) and a barrel full of stunning mouth-watering acidity that makes this wine a perfect match with any Italian theme dish you could ever imagine throwing at it. This wine is quite good on its own. Frankly, I could not get enough of this wine, it just draws you in over and over, a real head turner.

So if you want to score some for yourself and I highly recommend that you do, you could order up a few bottles from this placed called Great Corks who are selling 2004 for $38.99 plus shipping. This is a great price for a wine of this caliber, that I giving a sizzling 94 points. Don't miss out folks because until you have swirled a 100% Sagrantino in your glass, I really don't think you can have an honest point on view on wine, because this wine has truly altered my perspective.

This wine was provided as a media sample to me and 300 plus other wine writers at this years 2011 Wine Bloggers Conference and I must say it was one of my personal highlights. Until next sip long and prosper, cheers!


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