|Logo of the Montefalco Consortium|
As mentioned, a passito style wine is still made in the Montefalco Sagrantino Passito D.O.C.G. These concentrated wines are made from semi-dried grapes (traditionally dried on straw mats). They would be comparable to Vintage Port in their intensity and longevity. The wine is a sweet, syrupy wine with raisin and blueberry qualities. The alcohol content is usually around 16 percent.
Sagrantino is a food friendly wine that matches nicely with most Italian foods: Pizza, pasta, and anything with black truffles. They have the tannins to pair with wild game, braised meats, squab or pheasant, or even a nice steak or lamb. Of course aged cheeses go well too. Just remember to open the bottle and decant about an hour before serving. They go nicely with pastas or pizza. Add some truffles if available for a great match. Of course, the passito version is perfect with dark chocolate, dried fruits, or just sipping with a fine cigar.
Outside of Italy, Sagrantino has been experimentally planted in Australia, California and Argentina. I have found interesting versions in California’s Central Coast. Mosby is one that comes to mind. But, Montefalco is the true wine.
As a final comment, when I passed my level III Sommelier Diploma exams, the few of us who passed, gathered together to celebrate. Each of us brought food, and a special wine to share. My choice for the celebration was a Montefalco Sagrantino Passito. I had been holding it in my cellar for a special occasion. So, Sagrantino has a special spot in my palate. I hope you will discover one of Italy’s most distinctive and powerful wines.