The best wines of Umbria
Umbria may be small, but beauty and excellence are certainly not lacking. The portrait of Umbria that emerges this year, in spite of its size, is that of a great land where you can cultivate very different varieties that, depending on the terroir, can express just as many different styles. Despite the fact that Montefalco is growing year by year, both in size and importance (thanks in part to the impeccable work carried out by the consortium), the district is anything but Sagrantino centered. First of all, in these parts Montefalco Rosso is growing before our eyes. Don’t be fooled into thinking it’s the younger brother of Sagrantino—this is a different wine, characterful, made primarily with Sangiovese.
From North to South we’re seeing strong results: the great his-torical appellations, such as Orvieto and Torgiano, are being relaunched, with some surprising varieties getting attention (especially Trebbiano Spoletino in the Spoleto area and Ciliegiolo in Narni). Grechetto has been elevated with producers focusing, rightfully, on its aging potential.
All this can be summed up very well by the Tre Bicchieri awarded this year, in our 2021 version of the guide, 14 in all (the same number as last year, but with some new additions). Briziarelli sur-prised the commission with a great Trebbiano ’19; the Tudernum cooperative presented a splendid Grechetto ’18; Castelbuono sees it’s first Tre Bicchieri with their Riserva di Montefalco Ros-so; and Romanelli grabbed a gold with their Medeo (it’s the first time for this Sagrantino). The multi-award winning producer Antonelli was also recognized with a new wine, the Molino dell’At-tone (a true cru). Obviously we shouldn’t overlook the region’s classics, starting with Cervaro del-la Sala. Antinori’s prestigious white wine, with the 2018 vintage, conquers its 30th Tre Bicchieri: a truly exceptional record for the region. It’s echoed by the Vigna Monticchio di Lungarotti, with its 16th recognition.
Among the younger producers that have already made a good impression, we’d like to mention Leonardo Bussoletti in Narni, Roccafiore in Todi, Bellafonte in Montefalco, and Barberani in Orvieto. Last, but not least, an obligatory mention for Caprai. It’s an exemplary pro-ducer in terms of quality and sustainability, fundamental for the rebirth of Sagrantino. Even in the absence of its 25 Anni (their most prestigious red) Caprai rose to the top of Collepiano.
Tre Bicchieri 2021
- Adarmando Trebbiano Spoletino ’18 – Giampaolo Tabarrini
- Brecciaro Ciliegiolo ’18 – Leonardo Bussoletti
- Cervaro della Sala ’18 – Castello della Sala
- Fiorfiore Grechetto ’18 – Roccafiore
- Mattone Bianco Trebbiano ’19 – Briziarelli
- Montefalco Rosso Lampante Ris. ’17 – Tenute Lunelli – Castelbuono
- Montefalco Rosso Pomontino ’18 – Tenuta Bellafonte
- Montefalco Sagrantino Collepiano ’16 – Arnaldo Caprai
- Montefalco Sagrantino Medeo ’16 – Romanelli
- Montefalco Sagrantino Molino dell’Attone ’15 – Antonelli – San Marco
- Orvieto Cl. Sup. Luigi e Giovanna ’17 – Barberani
- Orvieto Cl. Villa Barbi ’19 – Decugnano dei Barbi
- Todi Grechetto Sup. Colle Nobile ’18 – Tudernum
- Torgiano Rosso Rubesco V. Monticchio Ris. ’16 – Lungarotti