Umbria Comes to NYC

Mayor Bloomberg issues an Official Proclamation declaring November “ I Love Umbria Month” in New York City. There were events taking place in Eataly and Di Palo Fine foods among others. As I walked toward Eataly to attend a tasting of Umbrian wines, I could not help but think of the two major storms that we had endured in just one week:  the first was Hurricane Sandy and on this day it was a nor’easter bringing high winds, rain and snow.  Madison Square Park was closed as it had been during the hurricane and as I made my way across Fifth Avenue, I could only hope that the storm would not be as bad.

Porchetta for lunch


Only 4 of the 7 wines had made it to Eataly because of the hurricane but that was the least of the problems that Sandy had caused.Dan Amatuzzi, Beverage Director of Eataly, and Marco Caprai from the Arnaldo Caprai winery were the day’s speakers.  Mr. Amatuzzi spoke about Umbria and its wines in general and Mr. Caprai spoke mostly about Sagrantino.

The Wines

Bianco di Torgiano “Costelllato” DOC 2011 Terre Margaritelli made from Chardonnay, Trebbiano, Grechetto and Fiano. The winery is located on a hill called Miralduolo between Perugia and Assisi, the vineyards are 200-250 meters above see level, with clay soil and there are 4,000 to 5,000 vines per hectare. The wine is aged for a short time in French oak barrels from the Bertrange Forest in the Nevers region.  With Chablis to the northeast and Sancerre to the southwest, this is one of the most highly regarded forests in France since the variety of oak (Quercus Petraea) has a very dense grain.

The wine is well-structured with aromas of apple, dried fruit, herbs, and a touch of hazelnut. There is a nice aftertaste with a hint of almond.  Bianco di Torgiano is not seen very often in this country. Todi Sangiovese  “Belforte” DOC 2010 Cantina Tudernum made from 85% Sangiovese and 15% Merlot. The Cantina is located on the slope of Todi’s hills along the ancient Strada Tiberina. There are 3,300 vines per hectare and the harvest takes place the first week in October. It is aged for 6 months in barrels of durmast oak (Quercus Petraea) and then additional aging in bottle prior to release. This is a recent DOC. It is a fruity, easy-drinking wine with fresh  aromas and flavors with hints of raspberry and cassis.Sagrantino di Montefalco “Collepiano” 2005 DOCG Arnaldo Caprai. Made from 100% Sagrantino from the Collepiano vineyard at 200-300 meters above sea level. The soil is clay-calcareous and there are 6,000 vines per hectare. The training system is Cordone Speronato and the harvest takes place from the third week in September to the beginning of October. The wine spends 24-26 months in French oak barriques; Marco said that some of the barriques were second passage. It is kept in bottle for a minimum of 6 months before release. This is a big modern style Sagrantino with concentrated red fruit aromas and flavors and undertones of vanilla.

Sagrantino di Montefalco Passito DOCG 2005 Tenuta Rocca di Fabbri made from 100% Sagrantino. The estate is on the rolling hill to the east of the Montefalco appellation. All the grapes are grown on the estate and the exposure is south-southeast. The harvest takes place at the end of October when the grapes are very ripe. Fermentation is in stainless steel vats. The wine is aged in oak barrels and then in bottle before release. The wine is bottled 32 months after the harvest. This is a full-bodied dessert wine with aromas and flavors of red berries and dried fruit. This wine for a passito also goes well with food and in Umbria they drink it with lamb on Easter Sunday.

The wines that did not make it to the tasting because of Sandy were:
Trebbiano Spoletino IGT 2011, Perticaia. This is a producer I know and have visited and like his wines but I have not tasted this particular wine.

Rosso di Torgiano “Rubesco” 2007 Giorgio Lungarotti. I have been drinking this wine since I visited the winery many years ago and consider it one of the best Italian red wines for the money.

Sargantino di Montefalco DOCG 2007 Tabarrini Giampaolo. I do not know this producer.

Monini olive oil from Umbria was also served. It is a mild olive oil with a nutty, buttery flavor and low in acidity.

About these ads

6 Comments

Filed under Italian Red Wine, Italian White Wine, Italian Wine, Olive oli, sagrantino

6 responses to “Umbria Comes to NYC

  1. Umbria is full of gorgeous oils … what a shame that only Monini was mentioned. I’m not sure that Monini is even Italian-owned any more … very much a supermarket kind of brand and am suprised that it made it to Eataly! Sorry to sound so snobbish about evoo … but it’s actually a heart-felt passion for the ‘real’ and ‘good’ stuff! Not for the stuff that gets sold at budget prices in supermarkets and gets passed off as evoo.

  2. Great post, Charles. You do justice to the regions and their lovely wines. I’m impressed that these stalwart winemakers made it through the storms but perhaps I shouldn’t be, Italy’s history is one of strength and survival.
    You said the Rosso di Torgiano “Rubesco” 2007 Giorgio Lungarotti is”one of the best … for the money.” Do you have the price for this?
    grazie per tutti.
    dave

  3. Jimmy Pastorelli

    nice one Charles but you seem to enjoy the more commercial/chainstore oriented side of Montefalco, don’t you!?! For example, that small wine grower you say you don’t know – Tabarrini Giampaolo – produces wines that are way much more interesting indeed. Not for nothing he always gets high praises from all the press! It’s a more indie and family made approach compared to the factories you quote who produce million of bottles every year!! Then of course, it depends on what you looking for, but there are also other fine fine winemakers in Montefalco … that you’ll never find at the supermarket!!! check em out my dear!

    also, I’m pretty sure that Monini is still owned by Monini bros. just 2 be precise! Best – Jimmy

    • Ciao Jimmy – often the “commercial side ” makes good wine at a reasonable price and are easier to find in the stores and restaurants. I was writing about a particular event and not about the wines of Montefalco in generla.
      Yes, I know the winery and they make very good wines and I tasted them when I visited Montefalco- check out my past posts on Sagrantino, Scaccicdiavoli and Montefalco- not just Sagrantino among others.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s