Giampaolo could not be missed at the tasting table…his enthusiastic tastings of his family’s Tabarrini wines filled the 2011 Wine Bloggers Conference Meet the Sponsor room. You couldn’t resist stopping by to enjoy his wines and listen to tasting notes and stories of his winery and hometown in Montefalco, Italy (province of Perugia in Umbria region).

Four generations of the Tabarrini Family have tended to these vines… then in the late ’90’s, Giampaolo decided to continue the tradition in a new way by bottling their own wine. The results are fantastic!

If you don’t know much about Umbria wine, here are a few facts.

  • Umbria is the region sitting next to Tuscany to the southwest.
  • Wine regions include Orvieto, Torgiano and Montefalco Sagrantino.
  • 850,000 hectoliters of wine produced each year…only a small percent of Italy’s production.
  • Grechetto is the top white grape producing a full bodied white wine.
  • Sagrantino, the typical red grape from the Montefalco area, is the hero of this region first appearing at the end of the 19th century. Traditionally this grape was only made in a sweet version and Sagrantino Passito DOC was authorized in 1977.
  • In 1992 Montefalco Sagrantino Secco and Passito became the 12th Italian wine to be designated a DOCG (a controlled and guaranteed demonination of origin). This designation requires a minimum aging of 30 months before release.

Tabarrini is a leading producer of Montefalco Sagrantino. Half of their twenty-two hectares of vineyards are dedicated to the Sagrantino grape, used in five of the six wines they produce. The wine I’ve sampled the most, thanks to the Live Wine Blogging Session at the Conference and the gift bottle in our Welcome Bag, is their Montefalco Sagrantino DOCG. This wine is one of three under their Colle Grimadesco trademark used for their highest quality wines.

Montefalco Sagrantino, Colle Grimaldesco, DOCG 2004 & 2005

  • 100% Sangrantino grapes
  • 10-15 year old vineyards with sandy, muddy soil mixed with some clay and river pebbles
  • Wine is soaked on the skins for over a month, aged 30 months in French oak then 6 months in bottle.
  • Deep ruby red color
  • Aroma is fragrant of blackberries and cassis
  • BIG red full of berry flavor and spice… uniqueness and complexity of this wine comes through in every sip.
  • Pair with roasts, braised meats, mature cheeses
  • 14% alcohol.

Visit Tabarrini’s website for a look at their full wine line-up then buy them on line here. You can also ‘Like’ them on Facebook and follow Giampolo on Twitter.

And when you’re in Umbria, visit their cantina on the property. It represents Tabarrini’s innovation and tradition…three floors including one for fermentation, one for barrels and a cellar completely underground. On the first floor you can see the ritual drying of the Sagrantino grapes.

You don’t want to miss a chance to taste these special wines with Giampaolo himself!