Lungarotti Rubesco 2001
Created by Dott. Giorgio Lungarotti in 1962, the Lungarotti Winery has built its reputation on a legacy of firsts in Italian winemaking. Lungarotti’s Torre di Giano and Rubesco wines were the first wines from Umbria, and some of the first in Italy to, in 1968, be granted DOC status. In 1990, the single-vineyard Rubesco Riserva “Vigna Monticchio” achieved DOCG status. In the 1970s, Teresa Severini Lungarotti became Italy’s first women enologist, and, having joined her father upon graduation from the University of Perugia, is the chief enologist at the Lungarotti Winery. In 1998, Giorgio’s youngest daughter, Chiara, graduated with her degree in agriculture and has taken charge of the viticulture program at Lungarotti. The Lungarotti sisters are a dedicated winemaking team, who continue their father’s proud legacy, leading the Umbrian wine industry in quality and innovation.
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.