2010 Antica Azienda Agricola Paolo Bea San Valentino Umbria Rosso

A very belated post from some time spent in ancient and timeless Perugia that this ancient but sadly not timeless blog forgot to write, oops. After going on about avoiding high alcohols this largely Sangiovese from the long term cult of Bea was going to be interesting. A lot has been written about this fastidious, hard to find producer but I’ve only quickly tasted two of their Sagrantinos at a trade do. Autumnal bottle age and kirsch soaked leathery cherries in a rich and full body. Wham and thump. The ending does seem thinned and hot in a chocolate and fortified way. Some acidity still waves in vain as it sinks below the swell of fumes. Some old oak and clean too. Perhaps this style better suits the broad heft of Sagrantino than Sangiovese. Needs those full jammy blackberries. Coughing up the extra euros may have been worth it? Nonetheless, great to taste something made in an uncompromising and individual way.

15% alcohol. Cork. 30 euros.

Sort of 93 points in a stand back and admire way.

2017 Agriverde Natum Pecorino IGP

Pecorino seems to score so well on the price to flavour scale. This hasn’t the densest, most intense fruit but what there is swells so well in the mouth and shows real character. Not much up front but pears, a bit of stone fruit and a nutty twist emerge with a clean fresh tingle to finish. Googling the producer shows quite a sizeable organic set up. Their Montepulciano d’Abruzzo looks a must try if it turns up on one of those lovely Ital supermarket shelves, Good honest fruit here turned, without tinkering, into a simple deliciousness.

13% alcohol. Diam. 5.90 euros, how do they do it?

88 delicious punti.


2015 Marchesi Antinori Pèppoli Chianti Classico

Another label going back to the eighties with fond memories of crisp, mouthwatering high altitude red fruits. This is the first dabble in the ever expanding Antinori repertoire for some time. Quite dark and ripe compared to those of distant memory and a bit just Italian red winey maybe. Nonetheless cleanish, woody spice and cherries and good settled acidity. Only the last glass of a bottle that disappeared too quickly over a meal started to show some walnutty leather of proper Tuscan Sangiovese. Warm rich year, warmer climate, different vines or a dodgy memory the difference?

13.50% alcohol. Cork. 11.90 euros.

90 points.

1994 Azienda Agricola Adanti Arquata Sagrantino di Montefalco

The hill town of Spello in Umbria, rich in both beauty and probably money, has a bit of interest for the wine person. A well stocked, straightforward alimentari in the ever upward main street has quite a few oldies on the shelves, most with clean labels and good fill levels. Very fond memories of Adanti making great wine in the late 80s and early 90s made it easy for this to find its way into the backpack. The cork was firm and only stained for a couple of millimeters. The first tentative sniff was autumnal but still kicking. The flavours started a bit subdued but happily filled out toward the end with impeccably clean, still fresh cherries and blackberries. The tannins are becoming a melting ghost of what may have been but the acidity’s still just freshening things up. Held on and got better towards the end of the bottle. Looking a whole lot better in old age than this creaky blogger.

14% alcohol. Cork doing its job for once. 23 bargain euros.

94 points


2016 Marengo Barbera d’Alba Vigna Pugnane

Opened up straightaway quick smart with sweet berries and that earthy hard to describe any other way than Piemontese stoneyness. Rich, fresh and just medium weight. Maybe a pinch of barrel tannin for feel and salivating acidity seesaw the whole up and down. Second day the fruit filled out and the earthiness receded.

14% alcohol. Cork. 12.75 euros from another Conad supermercato.

92 points

2016 Roccafiore Melograno Umbria Rosso IGT

Sometimes simple, fresh and crunchy is just what the table needs. Straightforward red cherries with some considerable bracing acidity. Spotlessly clean and perfumed, it’s great to see low alcohol and strict acid grip in a modern version of what good basic Chianti was in rose tinted hindsight. A recent 2015 vintage from an osteria wine list was richer, more delicious and led to a reflexive grab for this from the shelf. Despite being a bit washy, a touch dilute and maybe young viney, this disappeared deliciously quickly with the inevitable Ital carbs and veg.

12.50% alcohol and Diam, good combination. 8 euros in the lovely Perugia superdeli of Umbró.

88 points.

2013 Fontanafredda Barolo

17.80 euros from the top shelf of a Conad supermercato in Umbria. 2013 too made resistance useless despite having only gone in for milk and bananas. If only the two dominant Australian chains were as much fun. This was clean typically Langhe nebb   with all the cherries, florals and earthy bits in the right places. Hung on well for two days with good ripe acidity and some grippy but yielding tannin. Possibly missing the rear end depth and intensity of what makes great Barolo and could be taken for a very good Langhe regional. Not complaining for the price, although perhaps not a match for bananas.

14% alcohol. Cork. 17.80 euros precisely.

91 points.