A Devil of a Wine

A Devil of a Wine

Try this rustic red from Umbria

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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.
90/100 points
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Arturo Ciompi
Trained as a classical clarinetist and conductor, Arturo plied his trade for many years in New York, performing with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, New York City Opera, the American Symphony and countless chamber music groups. While living in Durham, Arturo became the wine manager at two iconic gourmet stores: Fowler’s in Durham and Southern Season in Chapel Hill. He had a wine spot on NPR in the ’90s and has been a continuously published wine journalist since 1997. He has won national awards for his work and is currently writing for Durham Magazine and its weekly blog, “Wine Wednesdays”. In addition, he loves teaching the clarinet. Read more on his website.