Ottomonti 2007 Montefalco Sagrantino

Sagrantino di Montefalco DOCG, Italy; 100% Sagrantino; 14% ABV
imported by 8 Vini of Hayward, CA
$11 at the Berkeley, CA, store on 15 Jan.  Also at Oakland.

2007_Ottomonti_SagrantinoDiMontefalcoYet another round of interesting Italian wines!  This time they’re also showing up in the Seattle-Tacoma area.  Montefalco is a town and commune in the central Italian province of Umbria, just southeast of Tuscany.  Sagrantino is an indigenous grape that the Wiki page says is one of the most tannic.  But don’t let that description scare you away from this delicious wine.

I was recently described by a reader as “the air guy,” and here I will in no way upset that characterization.  I found it really needed about 2 hours and 15 minutes in a decanter to get going, and it continued to improve for the following hour.  (Again, if you keep it at home for more than a few weeks, your airing time may be shorter after possible “bottle shock” from transport passes.)  The wine really was thin, acid, and totally restrained until around that 2:15 mark, when it started showing some tangy black fruit as well, still quite hard and solid on the palate.  After another half hour of air, it became increasingly complex, showing flavors of ripe and tart red cherries, blackberries, dark strawberry jam, red hibiscus tea, soft dark plum, and a little black earth, with a tannic but not overbearing finish.  Finally, after about 3:15 of air, the earlier cleaner delineation of flavors dissolved into a meld of (an Italian wine’s version of) soft fruitiness.  If my list strikes you as an odd jumble of flavors, I have to agree.  I felt like it never really acquired an elegance to match its complexity, perhaps unsurprising in a very tannic grape, but that’s a minor quibble about a very tasty wine.  I think it’s perfectly mature now, not showing signs of being over the hill, but I suspect they’re not far off.

21 thoughts on “Ottomonti 2007 Montefalco Sagrantino

  1. lim13

    My last bottle! :~( 13+ years old now; color shows no sign of age…dark ruby and very slightly hazy with a violet rim; nose takes a long time to open, then shows earth, tar and minty aromas; soft on the front of the tongue, but then the tannins take hold giving it a chewy, gripping finish; flavors of espresso, dried cherry and blackberry; acidity is just right; may have a few good years left, but it’s drinking perfectly right now. Had it with my homemade caramelized onion, mozzarella and prosciutto pizza.

    Reply
  2. lim13

    Wilridge Winery, a small boutique producer that has been around for quite a few years is now growing Sagrantino in their estate vineyards in the Naches Heights AVA of western Yakima Valley. I’ll be anxious to see how that develops.

    Reply
  3. permiesworld

    Just opened this tonight. It’s the 2007 and oh yum. I wonder if it’s still on the shelves? I saw the other review on the 2009 so I’m going to see if we have any left at our GO. I didn’t expect to like it so I didn’t hurry to try it but wow, $11 is a bargain for this one. Nice dry-ness. I didn’t think it was thin at all.

    Reply
    1. BargainWhine Post author

      Hi PW. Thanks for trying this one! I’m glad you liked it and glad to hear it’s still doing well. It think both the 2007 and the 2009 are still at stores near me, although not both at the same store. I’ll be interested in your opinion if you find the 2009.

      Reply
        1. lim13

          It sat on the shleves in Silverdale for months too. I haven’t checked in a while. It may even still be there. I’ll have to take a look. But I suspect the majority of GO customers (who don’t read this blog) see Sagrantino on the label and go, “what in the hell is that?” And for over ten bucks are unwilling to find out.

          Reply
  4. batwingcandlewaxxe

    Found this recently at the Madrona store in Seattle; before I found this blog. I like big, in-your-face Italian reds; but this is more of a punch-you-in-your-face red. My teeth felt furry after drinking it the tannins were so strong. I did actually like it; but this one definitely needs a few more years in the cellar. It’s still there, so I’m picking up a couple more to put down.

    Reply
      1. batwingcandlewaxxe

        Yup, it’s definitely the 2007. I haven’t seen the 2009 there yet. It’s a fairly out-of-the-way store, so I often see things stick around there longer than I do other locations; though they don’t get a lot of the stuff that the other locations do.

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    1. lim13

      And now it just showed up at the Silverdale GO. Check it out, locals. Good stuff! And it didn’t look like there was much of it.

      Reply
  5. lim13

    It’s me…the anti-air guy, checking in. The guy that almost never decants and drinks ’em right after they’re poured from the bottle. And I immediately liked this unusual varietal. My notes: I never really detected the “thin, acid” quality that you found, BW. Slightly less than clear and dark ruby color. Nose is rather closed and shows an almost port-like quality, like mild oxidation. Tastes sweet on the front of the tongue through mid-palate and the flavors also show that sort of port-like character with perhaps just the slightest touch of oxidation. Flavors of dark grape, plum, some blackberry and an almost floral/hyacinth quality. Big firm tannins, but the sweetness and fruit calm their effect. Really very tasty and unique. Yummy!

    Reply
    1. Darrell

      BW is the “patient guy.” He’s in the GO parking lot with his newly purchased bottle and I have the setup to sample right now without exposing his bottle to oxygen and he won’t request a go at a sample. I’m the opposite, immediate gratification.

      Reply
      1. BargainWhine Post author

        Thanks for the kind interpretation, weinish and Darrell. More accurately, I just really like to mull things over, think about them some more, then ponder them a little longer. 🙂

        Reply
        1. weinish

          I’m about to experiment.

          I found the bottle opened up fine from the outset, but I’m going to taste it in a moment after the Spices 3 Chinese wears off. Then I’ll try again in about 90 minutes.

          Reply
  6. mereimage

    Heading out today to see if I can find some of this because… Last week, I was fortunate to try two wines from this region. the 2005 Paolo Bea Montefalco Rosso Vigna San Valentino which is mostly Sangiovese and the 2005 Paolo Bea Montefalco Sagrantino Pagliaro Secco. Both had been open for about an hour and over the 45 min we tasted these two, very distinct but well made wines, my opinion changed as to which I liked best. At first I was really taken by the softer Rosso which was balanced and showed more sweeter characteristics while the Sagrantino was more in your face screaming for something hearty to chew on. BUT as we came to the end of our glasses (we tasted them side by side) my palate was enjoying the more vibrant Pagliaro even without food! I suppose this could be due to the tannins “arresting” my palate. However, all in all they were fantastic wines and my first time tasting this varietal from its homeland.

    BTW tried the ripasso the other night and will buy more if it’s still at our GO. Loved it!

    Reply
  7. lim13

    Have yet to see it up here west of Seattle on the Olympic Peninsula…but I’d sure like to try it. Bring on the tannin!

    Reply
      1. lim13

        Thanks b5. We’ll be in the Seattle area visiting friends and SODO wineries on Saturday, so might get by the 4th Ave. store.

        Reply

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