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Sagrantino is an Italian grape variety that is indigenous to the region of Umbria in Central Italy. It is grown primarily in the village of Montefalco and its surrounding areas, with only 250 acres (100 ha) dedicated to the grape in the hands of about 25 producers. With such small production, the wine is not widely known outside of Italy, although it was granted DOCG status in 1991. The grape has one of the highest tannic levels of any variety in the world, and creates wines that are inky purple with an almost-black center. The bouquet is one of dark, brooding red fruits with hints of plum, cinnamon, and earth. The Sagrantino di Montefalco DOCG requires 100 percent Sagrantino used, with a required at least 29 months aging before release. A passito is still made, a thick, syrupy wine with raisin and blueberry qualities. The alcohol content is around 16 percent.
The origins of the grape are widely disputed, but what is known is that it was used primarily for dessert wines for many years, the grape being dried in the passito style, much like a Recioto di Valpolicella. Beginning in 1976, however, the wines were made in a dry style, and that is how they are primarily produced today. Australia has now seen forms of this varietal from wineries such as Coriole, Pizzini, Chalmers and Amadio Wines, all with varying styles of Sagrantino.
- Montefalco Sagrantino secco for details of the dry version of the DOCG wine