The Arnaldo-Caprai Collepiano Sagrantino got me all excited the day we received the sample. Sagrantino Di Montefalco is one of my favorite Italian red wines and I was already planning to make sure we let it rest after traveling for a decent amount of time and since it was from the fabulous 2005 vintage, I knew I had to decant or give it the proper time to breath before consumption. About the time I put the wine in the cellar we were on back to back trips to Portugal and Champagne. Needless to say it rested plenty of time and it was in a perfect window of maturity when it was consumed. This Sagrantino grape is a native of Umbria and more specifically Montefalco. For DOCG status the wine must be 95% Sagrantino and aged for 30 months. Most producers blend 5% of Sangiovese into the wine.

Upon opening this wine, the fruit aromas were a little muted but given some time to breathe the wine exhibited a beautiful bouquet of concentrated raspberry, cherry and overripe strawberries with a little vanilla spice also apparent in the aromas. The balance of this wine was amazing. It has been a long time since I tasted a wine that was so harmonious. The complexity of this wine is best showcased through serving it with simple rustic dishes with big flavors but not complexity such as Bistecca alla Florentine.

Sagrantino has long been one of my favorite varietals and Arnaldo-Capri has done a magnificent job of solidifying my enamored palate to this specific grape. Hunt it down, it is MacDaddy approved and if I was registered for gifts anywhere this wine would be on my list. If it showed up with a guest at my dinner table, I would be thrilled and not too worried about the food pairing. Almost everything I make is big flavored in rustic preparations that augment a wine with this flavor profile. The finish was amazing on this wine, lingering with velvet subtlety and swaggering class.

Rating: Excellent (92) | $60 | 14.5% ABV

Photo credit: Vinare.blogspot.com