tirsdag den 5. november 2013

Umbria – close but not Tuscany

Last week I went to a kind of Giro d´Italia of wine. It was the independent Danish importer, Vinotek A Fynnis, who invited to a tasting through the Italian wine regions: Piedmont, Tuscany, Veneto, Abruzzi etc. and a region that is less known, Umbria.
When we talk about Umbria we normally refer to white wine from Orvieto. But the region produces a growing amount of red wine as well with better and better result.   
Umbria was represented by export manager Gian-Andrea Dutler from Castello Monte Vibiano, who served five different wines and one of them in different years. The castle is placed on a hill close to Perugia in the district called Colli Perugini.
Gian-Andrea Dutler told me, that there has been a change in the region during the last 10 years. Before most of the wine was produced by bigger cooperatives and they mostly made white wine. But today small and independent producers are having focus on red grape varieties as well – both local grapes like Sangiovese and Sagrantino and international ones like Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. The area gets less rain and has a hotter summer than Tuscany. The result is wine a bit like those from Tuscany, and Gian-Andrea compares his best wine, L`Andrea with a Super Tuscan.
All in all Castello Monte Vibiano produce around 220.000 bottles a year of which 180.000 is red. More than 90 % of the production is for export.
I tasted these wines from Castello Monte Vibiano:
Maria Camilla, Umbria Bianco: White wine based on a blend of Trebbiano (52 %), Grechetto and Sauvignon Blanc. Fresh and crisp with lemon and a bit pineapple. Nice acidity but perhaps a bit one-dimensional.
Villa Monte Vibiano, Rosso dell`Ubria: Made mostly of Sangiovese. Some red berries in the nose, a bit light in the colour and the style and a bit sharp too. Typically Sangiovese-taste, but will do better with food.
Mon Vì, Colli Perugini Rosso: Made of 70 % Sangiovese, 15 % Merlot and 15 % Cabernet Sauvignon. Darker in colour and fuller bodied. Fruity with soft tannins and very drinkable, but not that deep and broad on the palette. A more international style and a bit of a pleaser due to the blend.
L´Andrea, Colli Perugini Rosso: Made of a selection of the best grapes, 50 % Sangiovese, 15 % Sagrantino and then some Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. Stored in barriques for 15 months. I tried 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008, and notices how the style has change to the better. In general it was a great wine, with red berries and typically notes of vanilla from the barriques. Less smooth than the second wine, darker and more powerful and with stronger tannins. 2003 had softer tannins now, but it seems like the cask was a bit too much burned. From 2006 that changed and gave room for elegance and fresh cherries. A great wine with beautiful tannins. 2007 had more fruit and more power. It still has a long life. 2008 was still young but promising too, but not as good as the two previous years. 
After Castello Monte Vibiano I tried wine from other regions too. Among others I tasted a fresh white wine from Piedmont, Roero Arneis Camestri 2012 from Marco Porello, a Soave 2012 and Soave Classico 2011 from Monte Tondo in Veneto. Among the reds I had Chianti Classico 2010, Chianti Classico Riserva 2008 and Poggiassai 2010, all from Poggio Bonelli. In my opinion the Riversa was much better structured than the Super Tuscan, Poggiassai, which truly disappointed me a bit. And finally I will mention a nice red from Sardinia, Cerasio Cannonau di Sardegna 2009 from Cantina Pedres. Sorry, just for namedropping and not adding notes…

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