WA 96 / WE 94 pts
WA: This is a baritone beauty. The 2015 Montefalco Sagrantino 25 Anni is a darkly extracted and thick expression with inky-black fruit aromas that are followed by finer accents of licorice, smoke and tar. The bouquet is deep and complex. There is dark spice here as well, but those spicy tones are mixed with balsam herb, barbecue smoke and teriyaki. The wine is full-bodied and layered, with rich textural fiber. This vintage will award those who wait. Marco Caprai now works with French consultant Michel Rolland, and both men have together endeavored not only to study and better understand the tricky Sagrantino grape but also create a blueprint for better working the highly tannic variety. These efforts started in 2015, and today, many of the lessons learned over the past four years have been incorporated into winemaking. “We set out a new approach to Sagrantino by changing many tiny details,” Marco Caprai explains. For example, pumping volumes were tweaked to a slower flow, to be less violent on the fruit. Punch-downs are slower and last longer. Fermentations are more integrated and temperatures are lowered to do colder macerations (that last up to one month), and they use a cold-storage room more often between steps. “I now start to see the big picture, the whole wine,” Marco tells me during my visit to his beautiful winery near Bevagna, Umbria.
WE: Aromas of baked plum, purple flowers, exotic spices and French oak form the nose on this full-bodied red. The firmly structured palate shows focus and finesse, delivering ripe black cherry, spiced blueberry, licorice and tobacco alongside tightly knit, fine-grained tannins that leave a rather drying finish. Give it time to fully develop. Drink 2023–2035.