Bellafonte, Montefalco Sagrantino 'Collenottolo' 2013

€39,95

Montefalco Sagrantino ‘Collenottolo’ is a selection of the estate’s best Sagrantino grapes, whole-berry, native yeasts fermentation, matured for 36 months in 300l Slavonian oak barrels and aged for 2 more years in bottles. Intensely perfumed nose, cherry, blackberry, currants, blueberry with floral and oriental spice notes. Light balsamic notes on the palate, generous fruit – cherry, blueberry – wonderful precision, intensity and persistence of flavours. A wine for special occasions.

The origins of Sagrantino are still debated. However, it is likely to have originated in Greece and been brought to Italy by Byzantine Monks. Evidence of its cultivation in the Montefalco area dates to the Middle Ages. In the past, this red wine was mainly used for religious ceremonies, hence the name “Sagrantino”, deriving from the word meaning “sacred”. Nowadays, with slightly more than 600 hectares in production it is Umbria’s most famous wine.

TENUTA BELLAFONTE, Torre del Colle                             New!

Tenuta Bellafonte is located in the heart of the most unspoilt part of Umbria, not far from Bevagna, near the beautiful village of Torre del Colle, surrounded by rolling hills where woodlands give way to orderly vineyards and olive trees.

The 11-ha vineyard, are located between 260 and 320m above sea level. The South-Eastern exposure, the mix of clay, marl and rocky soils are ideal for producing quality wine.

Owner Peter Heilbron left the boardrooms of the corporate World in 2007 when he and his wife Sabina purchased this wonderful 40-ha property (the rest of the land is dedicated to woodland, orchards and olive trees).

Heilbron designed his winery, completed in 2010, building it into the clay and marl hillside with subterranean porous walls made from gabions, steel baskets filled with stones. The winery is energy independent, using solar panels for electricity and generating heat and hot water by burning vine cuttings in a biomass boiler.

In the vineyards, Heilbron shuns chemical fertilizers, herbicides and insecticides, using seaweed and plant extracts as a kind of vine homeopathy. He has not pursued organic certification because, in rainy seasons, he sometimes prefers to use a sustainable fungicide to fight mildew rather than copper sulfate, which is permitted for organic use but can build up in the soil and be toxic to bees and other organisms. "I prefer to do it my way," he says.

Son of a German jeweller, Peter was born and raised in Milan, he studied agronomy before he made a career in Food and Beverage. He learnt winemaking by ‘tasting, studying and asking questions’

Peter was intrigued and attracted by Montefalco Sagrantino wine, although the tannic structure wasn’t to his personal taste, he was adamant he could make a softer, more elegant version from his 5-ha, dedicated vineyard. Using gentle vinification techniques, whole berry fermentation, natural yeasts, gentle pressing, not filtration/fining and only a small amount of SO2 at bottling.