The sagrantino variety is mostly only found in one small area in Italy, the historic village of Montefalco in the heart of Umbria. It is one of the rare red varieties to have colour in both the skin and the pulp, making it typically an intensely dark and tannic wine. Historically the grape was used for sweet passito wine, but since the 1970s it has more often been made as a dry table wine, sometimes blended with other local varieties.
Based on my experiences with Sangiovese in Heathcote, I was curious to see the potential for Sagrantino in the region, as they are commonly blended in Umbria. After hand harvesting at optimum ripeness, I decided to be conservative with my first attempt, de-stemming 100% and pressing the entirety after two weeks once the ferment was complete. The wine was transferred to a mixture of mature barriques (four French and two Hungarian), and after a rack and return in Spring, it was blended and bottled in January 2021.
It is believed that the same Sagrantino comes from Sacristry, most likely as the grape was used to make the revered sweet wine that was donated to the Abbey in Montefalco. The sacred-profane dichotomy was a concept posited by Ēmile Durkheim, where the sacred represents the interests of the many, whereas the profane serves the interest of the individual. I also like the way wine is a representation of nature (sacred) and human (profane).