Falesco Assisi Rosso 2009
Falesco Assisi Rosso is crafted from 70% Sangiovese, 20% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. The picturesque setting and exposure of the hillside Umbrian vineyards, with perfectly draining volcanic soil, provide ideal ripening conditions. This rich blend produces a wine that is at once full of structure yet completely accessible.
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Two of Italy’s most acclaimed winemakers, brothers Riccardo and Renzo Cotarella, founded Falesco in 1979. Their philosophy is focused on balancing the uniqueness and tradition of native varietals with the versatility of international grapes. The result is a complete portfolio of wines that consumers and critics alike have recognized as exhibiting extreme value and Best of Class offerings. Falesco winery is located in Umbria’s Montecchio municipality, near Orvieto in the southwestern area that borders the Lazio region. In Lazio, Falesco also maintains a cellar for the vinification of its DOC Est! Est!! Est!!! di Montefiascone. The region is bordered by the Tyrrhenian Sea on the west and Italy’s mountainous center to the east. The dry, perfectly drained, volcanic terroir offers ideal growing conditions for textured reds and crisp, refreshing whites. The winery’s mission is manifold: to rediscover and promote Italy’s native varietals, to identify terroir areas with the ability to produce high-quality wines, to perform ongoing research and experimentation in winemaking and vineyard management, and to continually improve the quality of all Falesco products. Countless worldwide accolades and the winery’s commercial success attest to the results achieved here.
Centered upon the lush Apennine Range in the center if the Italian peninsula, Umbria is one of the few completely landlocked regions in Italy. It’s star red grape variety, Sagrantino, finds its mecca around the striking, hilltop village of Montefalco. The resulting wine, Sagrantino di Montefalco, is an age-worthy, brawny, brambly red, bursting with jammy, blackberry fruit and earthy, pine forest aromas. By law this classified wine has to be aged over three years before it can be released from the winery and Sagrantino often needs a good 5-10 more years in bottle before it reaches its peak. Incidentally these wines often fall under the radar in the scene of high-end, age-begging, Italian reds, giving them an almost cult-classic appeal. They are undoubtedly worth the wait!
Rosso di Montefalco, on the other had, is composed mainly of Sangiovese and is a more fruit-driven, quaffable wine to enjoy while waiting for the Sagrantinos to mellow out.
Among its green mountains, perched upon a high cliff in the province of Terni, sits the town of Orvieto. Orvieto, the wine, is a blend of at least 60% Trebbiano in combination with Grechetto, with the possible addition of other local white varieties. Orvieto is the center of Umbria’s white wine production—and anchor of the region’s entire wine scene—producing over two thirds of Umbria’s wine. A great Orvieto will have clean aromas and flavors of green apple, melon and citrus, and have a crisp, mineral-dominant finish.
With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a variety that creates a fruity and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is naturally high in acidity and tannins. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.