Sagrantino. It won’t roll off the lips of many, even I suspect those of many wine cognoscenti. The grape variety finds its native home in Umbria, inland of Tuscany, where this tannic red variety is famed more for its potential in Sagrantino di Montelfalco DOCG than its results. Yet here I am wondering aloud what I have been missing, with glass in hand from local producer Josh Tuckfield at View Road Wines in McLaren Vale. This is no Australian nebbiolo or sangiovese, where a dose of imagination is required to reconcile fumbling local potential with its native benchmark. This here is the real deal.
The wine has aromatics that remind of meats, leather, ripe blackcurrant and blueberry, all knitted together with some attractive cedar. The palate reveals long length, balance and fruit driven notes of blackcurrant and plum. Not quite shiraz, not quite tempranillo, it’s a balanced wine with power and a certain grace that will reward your interest. In a pleasing departure too from many wine descriptions I receive, I also couldn’t help noticing that winemaker Josh’s note on the label rather frankly pointed out that he’d used the wrong barrels for this wine. With quality in the glass this good, I wouldn’t change a thing.
Rating: Very Good, Abv: 14.5%, Price: $27, Source: sample, Vendors: http://www.wine-searcher.com/, Website: n/a, Tasted: 2014