2004 Montefalco Sagrantino Passito DOCG
Sagrantino •Montefalco Sagrantino Passito DOCG
What We Say
SUPERIOR WINE ALERT:
Today’s selection from Moretto Omero is one of the most unique dessert wines we have had the opportunity to taste. It is a very rare and ancient styled wine and a must have cellar addition for Italian wine enthusiasts. Our allocation of this exclusive wine is extremely limited.
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Mission Codename: Celebrate History, in a bottle
Operative: Agent White
Objective: Secure an exclusive allocation of a super rare and unique Italian dessert wine.
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Azienda Agraria Moretto Omero
Wine Subject: 2004 Montefalco Sagrantino Passito DOCG
Winemaker: Moretti Omero
The Montefalco region in Italy’s Umbria region has been growing vines and making wine since biblical times. The most ancient and traditional of the styles with its process dating back to 800BC is Passito or ‘Straw Wine’, where the best fruit is picked at the peak of ripeness and then carefully dried on straw mats before being fermented. Similar styles are also popular in the Veneto, specifically with this spy’s favorite Amarone. With Passito, the fruit is always low yield and aged to perfection. The wine-making is extremely labor intensive. The result… well, you just have to taste it to truly experience it. This style of wine-making is an art that has been passed from generation to generation.
Historically, Montefalco Sagrantino Passito is a wine that is used for celebratory purposes and special occasions. If you ever are in Umbria and you are poured Passito, you are indeed a very special guest.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Deep and dark garnet with garnet and pick edges. Ruby highlights and a clear core and when swirled, you can see the slightly more viscous texture of this wine. Thin legs that hold their color ring the glass when swirled.
Smell – The aromas of Italian wild cherry hits you the instant you pull the cork. The aromas, while medium in intensity, show a deep, rich and ripe cherry layered over a distinct minerality. Subtle hints of wild fennel, floral roses and dried herbs are balanced with an earthy base.
Feel – Smooth and velvety initially then the texture becomes warm with a mineral kick. Sweet with soft supple tannins that kick in at mid palate. A slight tang of pepper rounds out at the back of the tongue.
Taste – Sublime ripe and rich Italian cherry with lingering dried rose petal, a touch of black licorice and other spices. Mineral and white pepper components also emerge as you explore the flavors.
Finish – Almost never ending with lingering flavors and aromas of rich and ripe cherry, its subtle earthiness and minerality and pepper.
Conclusion – The 2004 Montefalco Sagrantino Passito DOCG is truly an experience to behold. Perhaps one of the most unique wines we have featured. Rich and ripe cherry aromas and flavors abound, this wine can be dessert all by itself. Pour yourself a glass, sit back and be transported. If you are a fan of dessert wines and late harvest wines, then this is a must add addition to your cellar. Of course, the challenge will be finding the best celebration or occasion to open this wine, that is if you don’t drink your allocation right away!
Note: This wine is a a high residual sugar dessert wine (e.g. sweet) and comes in a 500ml bottle. Our allocation of this exclusive wine is extremely.
Below is a recap of when Agent White first discovered the great micro production wines of Moretti Omero:
It all began at wine tasting earlier this year, when Agent Baco Noir was raving about the rare wines from Montefalco Sagrantino. It was decided at that point that The Wine Spies would have to search and return with one of these elusive ‘festival wines’ for our stateside operatives.
As I stepped off the train in Foligno, Agent Baco Noir was standing on the platform with a mischievous smile on her face. Not saying a word, we quickly passed through the station to a pair of Vespas she had procured for our upcoming mission. No directions, no dossier, just a map scribbled on the back of a cafe napkin.
Driving south-westbound out of the town we were immediately in the rural countryside. Farms, ranches and vineyards as far as the eye could see. We pulled up next to pig ranch where Baco Noir stepped off her scooter.
“We’re on foot from here”, is all she said, fixing her hair, adjusting her sunglasses and mumbling to herself about getting her designer high-heeled shoes dirty. I followed, not saying a word (I have learned to keep my mouth shut with regard to women and Italian shoes). Walking through the ranch we could see a farm house in the distance.
Approaching the farm house, we could see vineyards and olive groves surrounding the farm house. Just then, a man, clearly worn by working the land beaconed us into a small tasting room where he quickly disappeared into a back alcove. Emerging again almost immediately with a case of wine in hand he discretely gave them to Baco Noir, who still wearing her sunglasses, turned around and walked out the door. As soon as we stepped outside, she gave me the wine to carry back to the scooters.
Just as quickly as we got the wine, I found myself back at the train station, samples in hand. Baco Noir didn’t even get off her scooter, only saying “see you in the Piedmont in two weeks, give my regards to HQ, Ciao!” as she placed a parcel on top of the wine case I was carrying.
Not being able to wait to return to HQ for our tasting, I opened one of the bottles of the 2002 Moretti Omero Montefalco Sagrantino on the train back to Rome. I now now why this is such an exceptional wine. As I sipped the first glass, I opened the parcel, and inside to my surprise was a note, some Pecorino Toscana cheese, a Abruzzese sausage and some fresh fruit.
It might as well be a perfect day, I though, as I began to read Baco Noir’s note… (details redacted)
To this day, each time I taste this wine I am immediately transported back to that magical place.
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The approximate location the Moretti Omero farm in Giano dell’Umbria can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
Rare Wine Alert
Today’s wine is an exceptionally rare wine find that The Wine Spies have sleuthed for you. We are the only retail establishment in the United States where you will find this wine and we have secured a very limited allocation for you. Be sure to order early – once this wine is sold out, this wine may not be available again.
Awards & Accolades:
Special Recognition – 2008 Biodivino International Organic Wine Competition.
About This Wine:
In the past the Sagrantino was sweet. It was the symbol of hospitality for special guests, a delicious dessert wines for special occasions. Today, Passito survives to the same name and the extraordinary commercial success of the dry version. Forget what you know about Sagrantino (or other dessert wines for that matter) and enjoy the aromas and flavors of Italian Ciliegia cherry, petals of faded flowers, and coffee. Warm and velvety on the palate, it shows its ancient rusticity in every voluptuous if not dainty sip, rare ancorché. As is this wine.
The best quality bunches of grapes are placed on grilles for sun drying until December. After the fermentation, each 100kg of grapes results in 20-25 liters of of wine. This desert wine is aged in wooden casks for 18 months.
The Sagrantino Grape:
Wine made from the Sagratino grape from the Umbria region has an intense red ruby color, a strong impact on the nose with intensity and persistence, and the flavors of red jam, dark fruits, and some earthiness. The wine is strong but elegant, with above average tannins in the early years followed by a mellowing after 5-10 years of evolution in the bottle. The locals serve this wine with meat and game dishes, salami, pasta and hard cheeses. While drinking this wine you may find yourself experiencing an out-of-body sensation where you are mentally transported to Italy!
This local varietal almost died but is currently seeing a revival. The name is thought to come from ‘sagra’ which means festival implying this wine was reserved for special occasions and feasts. I would love to be at one of those in Italy right now!
About The Winery:
This family business is situated 2.5 kilometres away from the 316 national road connecting Foligno to Todi, on the way to Monti Martani. It stretches for 30 hectars, including olive-groves, vines, woods, plantings of truffles and a pig-breeding.
Type: Bottled dessert wine
Varietals: 100% Sagrantino
Serve at: 16-18C