I escaped from rainy London to do a delightful Tour of Umbria, which got off to a great start and wonderful enogastronomical journey at the Antonelli winery and vineyards located at San Marco, right in the heart of the Montefalco DOCG winemaking area.
Antonelli San Marco is a wine and farming estate which extends over an entire 170 hectares located centrally within Montefalco’s DOCG winemaking area. Antonelli San Marco is one of the oldest and most established estates in the area dedicated to producing top quality wines and organic extra virgin olive oil. The vineyards are planted on the hilly slopes, leaving the valleys for grain crops. Presently there is 40 hectares of vineyards planted.
The average age of the vines is around 15 years. The oldest Sagrantino vines are 30 years old.
Sagrantino and Sangiovese are the main red grape varieties, but also Montepulciano, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon are grown. Grechetto and Trebbiano Spoletino are the white grape varieties currently planted on the property
The tasting dinner was prepared in the winery’s “Cucina in Cantina” – a cooking school, specializing in local cuisine (with a state of the art De Manincor professional kitchen), where visitors can elect to combine the cellar visits and wine tasting with some Cooking Lessons/Tuition.
Our Tasting Menu comprised the following wine and food pairings.
We started with the fantastic Grechetto white, which I find an exciting grape variety and combines well with local antipasta such as Bruscetta with virgin olive oil, Pecorino fresco with marmelatta Sagrantino and local prosciutto.
A Montefalco Rosso Riserva DOC 2005 (a seamless blend of Sangiovese and Sagrantino di Montefalco) was served with the local pride and joy – a pasta dish Stringozzi al tartufo.
We had a Chiusa di Pannone de Sagrantino di Montefalco DOCG 2004 with the Umbrian Gourmet Rabbit and it was impressive and had loads of class, power and concentration, plus considerable finesse. The Tasting notes for the wine are as follows: “deep ruby red in colour with garnet hues. Rich and powerful nose with ethereal and complex notes featuring elegant fruit with blackberry and plums backed up with sweet wood. In the mouth powerful with red fruit and final tannins”. The wine is an ideal accompaniment to grilled and roast meats, stewed red meats (beef, lamb), game (wild boar, guinea fowl, pigeon) and mature hard cheeses.
This was followed by a rich and concentrated Sagrantino di Montefalco di Passito 2006 which was served with Baked Pears with Dark Chocolate dessert cake and was a fitting end to a harmonious meal in delightful company.
ANTONELLI SAN MARCO
Written by Axel Ritenis, Editor, Connoisseur Magazine