New Occasional Feature – The Wineries (we know) of Umbria…..

I wrote this back in 2010, but I’d like to include it here and say that this is the start of our local Umbrian Cantina features!

We need to introduce everyone to the delights of Cantina Tabarrini, they are, to our minds and taste, one of the best, most innovative,  local producers Umbria has to offer.

Some of the Tabarrini vines

The wine-maker is the owner – Giampaolo, he, together with his wife Federica form a formidable team.  A lot of the cantine (wineries)  stick with traditional methods, and don’t get me wrong,  make the most fabulous wines – however,  Giampaolo breaks with tradition and innovates, with amazing results.

Think of any wine related question or idea and Giampaolo has thought of it years before and either discounted it or incorporated it in his wine-making!

He is one of the first wine makers here in Umbria to make a Rosè – Boca di Rosa – from 100% Sagrantino grapes, with spectacular results.  Mark hosted a visit to Tabarrini with Jody Ness from Wine Portfolio – a  TV programme that goes out world-wide on World CNBC.  Jody is a sommelier and a restaurateur and he found it difficult to categorise this wine – it’s  powerful ; on the bottle the strength is put at 15% but really it’s 16.2 %!   The surprise is that it’s dry and fruity, looks like a Rosè, has a bouquet of a white,  yet tastes like a red.

The aftermath of a tasting at Tabarrini!

Jody said that as a restaurateur he habitually tries to pair the wines he tastes with a dish – with this Rosè he couldn’t, because it would go with anything!  Fish, cheeses, meats or even dessert.  A wine that could take you through a whole meal.

Tabarrini also make Sagrantino, of course. Well, actually they make THREE – make that FOUR if you include the dessert wine – Sagrantino Passito –   I’ll pass to Mark to fill in the info on these!

All boxed and ready to go!

Colle Grimaldesco – The so called entry level Sagrantino – still enough to make you grin when you’re handed a glass though and only released after four years of being refined in French barriques and in the bottle!

Campo alla Cerqua –  The most approachable of the trio, produced from a single vineyard with lighter, looser soil than the others, this has great balance and well controlled tannins as this wine is aged only in large French oak barrels for four years. It has a very limited production of less than 2000 bottles a year.

Colle alle Macchie –   – This is the big boy – not one for the faint-hearted, with a spectacular bouquet and endless finish.  25 -30 months in French Oak.  Then around 3 years refinement in the bottle. You won’t see this one until a minimum of 6 years after harvest!

Colle Grimaldesco Passito – We LOVE this! Smooth and totally moreish! I take a great deal of pleasure from seeing the grapes drying on the special racks in lofts exposed to the elements to allow fresh air to circulate around the grapes for a natural desiccating process.  90 days of this, and you don’t have much juice left, but what is there is the nectar of the gods!

Plus, and I’m sure Giampaolo won’t mind me blowing his trumpet – Robert Parker has reviewed Tabarrini’s Sagrantino family and they all got over 90 points  – Campo alla Cerqua & Colle alle Macchie were both awarded 93 points!  Way to go Giampaolo!

The star of the show – Giampaolo Tabarrini – with a couple of happy guests!

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