Of the many native red grape wines recently revived in Italy, Sagrantino, the main grape component in Sagrantino di Montefalco - Umbria's flagship wine appellation - is one of the most distinctive. With its impressive complexity and longevity, it has the qualities to become the region's most famous wine, despite the fact that this low-yielding Sagrantino grape makes up a mere 6% of Umbria's total wine production. Sagrantino of Montefalco has one of the lowest maximum yields at 48 hl/ha, and must be aged for 30 months pre-release, of which 12 months must be in wood - increasingly French barriques. It is garnet-red with muscular tannins and full body, a subtle scent of violet petals, an aroma and bouquet reminiscent of blackberries. Montefalco Rosso is an earlier drinking blend of Sangiovese (60-70%), Sagrantino (10-15%), Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot (15-30%).
The Sagrantino grape reaches its apogee as a passito style wine, produced from partially dried grapes: full-bodied, mellow, spicy, with robust alcoholic strength of over 14 %, and a garnet red colour. The trend towards dry/Secco wines has only outstripped the sweet over the past 15 - 20 years.