Friday, June 21, 2024

Tenuta Bellafonte Pomontino Montefalco Rosso, an excellent blend of Sangiovese and Sagrantino

Tenuta Bellafonte Pomontino Montefalco Rosso (DOC) 2019, 13% ABV 

RRP: €22.95. Stockists: 64 Wine, Greenman Wines, Bradleys Cork, Le Caveau online

An excellent blend of Sangiovese and Sagrantino from Umbria.

This Montefalco Rosso from the centre of Italy has a mid-ruby colour. The nose is inviting and elegant with cherry, smaller red fruit and a touch of

sweet spice. Elegant also on the palate with a noticeable and immediate impact of the lively acidity. Fine tannins present also and the finish is long and very pleasing.

Very Highly Recommended. 

Pomontino is obtained thanks to carefully vinifying whole berries that ferment spontaneously. The vineyards are about 15 years old. The wine is aged for at least one year in large Slavonian oak casks before refining in bottle for about 6 months. Native yeasts are used and the wine is unfiltered. Production from the 2019 vintage came to 17,600 bottles (ref: label).

This excellent blend of Sangiovese and Sagrantino hails not from Tuscany but from neighbouring Umbria.  Tenuta Bellafonte is located in the heart of the most unspoilt part, 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 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 to go into wine with his wife Sabina. Heilbron shuns chemical fertilisers, herbicides and insecticides, using seaweed and plant extracts as a kind of vine homoeopathy. He hasn't pursued organic certification though.

Sangiovese has long been grown here but has always had a blending partner. This custom led to today's production specification rules: other grapes can be added, in addition to Sangiovese including Sagrantino (maximum 20%). Within that, it is entirely up to the winemaker and dictated only by the style he seeks from his wine.

The vast majority of Sangiovese is grown in Italy. But it has many names here including Rosso di Montalcino, Carmignano, Morellino di Scansano, Rosso Conero, Torgiano Rosso and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. I promised you’d meet some of them in this series and our Montefalco Ross is one of them!

Sangiovese has high acidity and as a result, matches well with “all manner of spicy foods”, according to Wine Folly who concludes “it will not get lost when paired with tomato sauce.” Serve at 16° - 18°C.

  • This post is part of a series on Italian wines made from native grapes and produced by usually small or medium-sized organic wineries. Taking some “guidance” here from the recently published VINO. Mightn’t always net the hat trick but hope to score two from the three each time. I have quite a few lined up but I’m happy to consider any suggestions or help. #OrganicItaly

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