2019 has been decreed as an excellent vintage, for some the best ever, for the great reds of Italy. Not to be outdone is Umbria, where 2019 will be remembered for being a vintage marked by a very long harvest, with equally long maturations.
"May was cold and rainy, but then we had a very good season in the following months, in the heart of ripening. The harvest was later than usual, but balanced in quantity, with grapes that arrived in the cellar very ripe and of great quality, and when harvests are this good, everything bodes well for the future of wine," recalls Marco Caprai.
The 2019 Montefalco Sagrantino DOCG wines show excellent polyphenolic maturity and great olfactory intensity: perfect characteristics to make this vintage one of the best of recent years.
Montefalco Sagrantino DOCG Collepiano 2019
Ruby red with just a hint of garnet, compact, enveloping and velvety texture. Bright and lively. The nose is fruity and floral, with hints of cherries in spirit, violets and cyclamen. The balsamic notes evolve into oriental spices, clove, sandalwood and rhubarb.
On the palate, the vibrant freshness supported by silky tannins is balanced by warmth and glyceric softness. Persistent in the finish, it closes with a pleasant savouriness, returning to echoes of plum and black cherry.
(Price 30 euro)
Montefalco Sagrantino DOCG Valdimaggio 2019
Ruby red with garnet hues. Compact and bright.
The nose is sophisticated, with balsamic, floral and fruity aromas. Mentholated notes of medicinal herbs range from cardamom, passion flower, mugwort and liquorice to echoes of wood and vanilla, blood orange, pomegranate and strawberry.
Enveloping on the palate, the vertical freshness is supported by gentle tannins. Very persistent, it closes with a savoury trail.
Montefalco Sagrantino DOCG 25 Anni 2019
Ruby red with slight garnet hues. An impenetrable luminous texture, deep and velvety.
The nose is broad, with fruity, floral and mineral hints: it opens with intense bursts of plum, black cherry and sour cherry, which are associated with shadier sensations of cinchona, liquorice, cocoa and hints of blood.
On the palate, lively freshness balances a muscular tannic texture, before an unforgettably persistent finish.
(Price 60 euro)
The winter of 2019 saw average rainfall and temperatures.
As early as April, however, there is a change in the trend: in the month in which the vine sprouts, minimum temperatures are very low, slowing down the sprouting process, which will be uneven; rainfall is abundant and well above average, and the high number of rainfall events is particularly characteristic, reaching almost double the average for the period in May, with particularly cold minimum temperatures.
June will show a completely opposite trend to the previous month, with a total absence of precipitation events and temperatures well above average.
The month of July and the first 20 days of August tended to be dry, with one important rainy event (40 mm) on 29 July. Temperatures were almost always above average, but without ever reaching worrying highs: there were only two days with high peaks, 39 °C on 25 July and 39.5 °C on 11 August, respectively.
Towards the end of August, coinciding with the ripening of the more precocious white varieties, there were several rainfall events that led to a slowdown in the ripening of the grapes.
The last 20 days of September were less disturbed with only one noteworthy rainfall event (60 mm) between the 22nd and 23rd.
Finally, October proved extremely favourable for the ripening of the later grapes: the few rainy events were in fact interspersed with clear, dry days and mild temperatures.
The wines show an excellent ripeness of the polyphenolic component and a great olfactory intensity determined by a long maturation of the grapes due to their optimal health.
ARNALDO CAPRAI FARM AT A GLANCE
Few other wineries in Italy and around the world are immediately identified just by mentioning the name of the denomination to which they belong, like Arnaldo Caprai, itself a symbol of Sagrantino di Montefalco. A unique reality, synonymous with Italian excellence, capable of creating wines that are out of the ordinary in terms of depth, elegance and longevity: not only reds, but also whites. The credit for this adventure that began in the late 1970s goes to Marco Caprai, Arnaldo's son. It was he, in fact, more than anyone else who believed in the richness of Sagrantino, reinterpreting it in a modern key, through the most innovative production and business management methods, which have enabled him to win the favour of the public and critics all over the world. Not to be outdone by the whites: Arnaldo Caprai's Grecante, 100% Grechetto, managed to conquer Wine Spectator's Top100.
A great company, Arnaldo Caprai, that guards a green soul, considering issues concerning sustainability, protection and safeguarding the environment as fundamental. The point of observation always remains the same: trying to behave in harmony with natural evolution cycles, preserving and enhancing the territory in which it operates. This is why the company decided to create an Environmental Management System that complies with international regulations, developing a voluntary territorial protocol of environmental, economic and social sustainability of the production process.
It is in this unparalleled context that wines of unforgettable substance are born, complex and elegant, capable of narrating the best of an entire region, Umbria.