Monday, May 5, 2014

Birthday Wine: Sagrantino - You Shouldn't Have, Glad You Did

Birthday dinners have come and gone for me for quite some time now.  Some are more memorable than others, for different reasons.  One thing that always sets a birthday dinner - or any dinner, for that matter - apart is the presence of good company.  At my most recent birthday dinner, my lovely wife was my dining companion, so it’s guaranteed to be one I’ll remember forever.

The locale for this dinner was special, too.  3Twenty Wine Lounge - named for its address on South La Brea in Los Angeles - is a place I discovered in 2011, when it was still nearly brand new.  I wandered in one Saturday afternoon to find proprietor Edgar Poureshagh all alone and more than ready to let the wine flow from his by-the-pour wine dispenser.  He loves to talk about wine, and we did so until he had to busy himself for the evening clientele.  He’s not so alone anymore, by the way.  3Twenty has become a very popular stop for diners, wine lovers and Yelpers in the La Brea/mid-Wilshire area.

Edgar is a great friend, and he gave me a very nice bottle of wine for my birthday.  A 2003 vintage of Tabarrini Montefalco Colle Grimaldesco Sagrantino, for which I can’t thank him enough.  It’s always nice to get wine as a gift, especially when it is this good.  The Tabarrini website explains that, “Colle Grimaldesco is the brand that the Tabarrini Family reserve for their highest quality wines.”  This one certainly lives up to the billing.

The ‘03 Tabarrini Montefalco Colle Grimaldesco Sagrantino is made from 100% Sagrantino grapes, harvested from ten- to 15-year-old vineyards in the Umbrian community of Montefalco.  The wine is soaked on the grape skins for 30 days and aged in oak for 30 months.  Another six months - in the bottle - and this baby is good to go.  13.5% abv.

This Italian's nose is quite expressive, showing off smoky blackberries layered with tobacco, leather and tar.  The oak spices which adorn the fragrance are generous, but not even close to overdone.  The palate is dark and brooding, with amazing acidity and sweet tannins.  It is extremely full in the mouth and long on the finish, a pleasure to drink.  Cheers, Edgar.

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