Mention the grape sangiovese and most wine lovers’ thoughts gravitate to Tuscany. Yet many “satellite” regions also produce excellent sangiovese-based reds. They include the Le Marche region and Umbria, from where today’s wine emanates. It is Montefalco Rosso, a blend of sangiovese, sagrantino and merlot. The sagrantino grape adds body and gamey richness, the merlot a smooth, earthy consistency. This wine has attractive qualities that I think suggest autumn. Try it on a cool evening as a prelude to winter. The estate name, “Scacciadiavoli,” translates as “chase the devils away.” I’d like to know if the family’s history includes an exorcist?
2015 Montefalco Rosso D.O.C. Scacciadiavoli $20 srp
Translucent garnet to ruby red in color. A warm, slightly weedy nose of violets, fresh herbs, hazelnut, black cherry and plum. Something “autumnal” in the nose, like a roll in dried leaves! Flavors are sprightly and medium-bodied with smoky, dark fruit elements; it’s a bit rustic in the best way. Sappy and satisfying. (60% sangiovese, 15% sagrantino, 25% merlot) Try with risotto bathed in this rosso, a bacon-encrusted pork chop or mushroom polenta. Drink now-2020.