An event not to be missed, scheduled for 12 March at the Hotel Milano in Bratto (BG), in the Seriana Valley: Marco Caprai, for everyone the King of Sagrantino, will be the guest of honour at an exceptional tasting dinnerboth for the presence of the producer and for the wines being tasted, paired with the cuisine of the hotel led by Fabio Iannotta.
It will start with the Arnaldo Caprai Metodo Classico Brut accompanied by peppered pork cheek with hot focaccia. This is a wine that is anything but the umpteenth exercise in style dictated by commercial objectives. The story of this label encapsulates - and goes even further than - the entire green philosophy that Marco Caprai has been pursuing for years to enhance and keep intact and vital the typical characteristics of the Montefalco territory. Thus, the 2 hectares of vineyards dedicated to the production of the new Metodo Classico Brut Arnaldo Caprai are not just any two hectares. The project, in fact, stems from the idea of redeveloping an extractive area located towards the Apennine ridge in the Marche region, a portion of land that benefits from the influence of the sea at an altitude of between 500 and 800 metres above sea level, and of enhancing the inland areas of the Apennines between Umbria and Marche where, following the earthquakes that hit them, a real depopulation is underway that can only be fought with new enhancement projects. From a project with a good heart can only be born something equally good: and so are these bubbles that remain to refine on the mild at least 20 months, 50%Pinot Nero 50% Chardonnay. Careful grape selection, rigorous vinification protocols and 20 months' maturation on the lees give this sparkling wine an extremely intriguing character. Bright straw yellow, with a fine and persistent perlage, the nose is expressed with hints of apple, notes of white flowers and hints of bread crust, while the palate is fresh and balanced.
To follow, rabbit pâté crostone with cabbage, pumpkin and rosemary bundlepaired with the first of three wines from the Signature Arnaldo Caprai line, the 2018 MalcompareMalcompare, born in 2015 from the collaboration with internationally renowned French oenologist Michel Rolland: Malcompare is a 100% Pinot Noir, round and fresh, with hints of violets and raspberry, which on the palate offers sweet notes of wood and spices (due to the 2 years of maturation in barrique, followed by 8 months in the bottle) and a soft, silky finish. Intriguing with its silky, creamy tannins, it has an ageing potential of over ten years.
Le pappardelle with wild boar ragout will be the perfect accompaniment to the Berlcompare 2018, a 100% Merlot also by Michel Rolland, which is elevated 2 years in barrique and refined 8 months in bottle, with intense notes of blackcurrant, graphite and some touches of geranium. The palate is taut, fresh, with salty and citrus tannins. A complex, elegant, unforgettable wine that aspires to position itself in the empyrean of great national and international Merlots.
Inevitably, the most awarded wine from the Arnaldo Caprai cellar, the 25 Years, Vintage 2016the iconic Sagrantino di Montefalco that has made the history of the denomination, recently included among the world's top 10 Italian red wines by Gentleman, the Class Editori magazine that added to the Italian ratings those of the most authoritative international critics, namely Wine Spectator, Vinous (led by Italo-American Antonio Galloni) and James Suckling. A red wine of great structure, important tannin and extraordinary capacity for ageing: as dense to the eye as it is to the nose - where notes of jammy black fruit, rose and cocoa follow one after the other, on a spicy array of pepper and balsamic notes -, in the mouth it demonstrates all its class with the softness of the tannin, which does not undermine the persuasive character of the sip but, on the contrary, enhances it. The 25 Anni Arnaldo Caprai will be paired with beef cheek braised in Montefalco Sagrantino, mashed potatoes and field herbs.
Spinning Beauty 2011 is the jewel in the crown of Arnaldo Caprai production and the first born of the Signature Line: very few bottles for a Sagrantino that demonstrates all the greatness of this variety, which comes from the oldest Monte della Torre clonal selection vineyard and one hundred per cent Sagrantino grapes, clone Cobra. A wine rich in personality and charm that is inspired by the great world classics of long ageing: left to mature in barriques for 8 years and at least 8 months of bottle ageing, the result is a unique, extraordinary wine with an impenetrable ruby red colour and an extremely broad aromatic strength, studded with hints of chocolate, black and red berry jams and sweet spices, woody balsamic facets, hints of incense and a dense toasted component. Gritty, characterful, warm and fresh at the same time, persistent, Spinning Beauty is an intuition that has guided the work and passion of a man in constant search of beauty, an invisible but stainless thread (and this is why we find this symbol on the label, which also pays homage to the Caprai family's textile origins) that binds this winery to the identity of the territory and all its traditions, in a movement that is unceasingly directed towards the future.
Tasting companions will be the mountain pasture cheeses.
Dulcis in fundo, the Passito 2017 Montefalco Sagrantino, a wine produced only in the best vintages and a tribute to the origins of wine production of this grape variety, which until the 1980s was only made in its raisin version. In combination, Williams pear in Passito Sagrantino mantecata with vanilla. Places are limited: the participation fee is €110 per person and reservations are compulsory at email@example.com or by calling 348 6626501.
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.