The 2007 Scacciadiavoli Montefalco Sagrantino DOCG is sourced from the Azienda Agraria Estate vineyards in the Montefalco area of Umbria, Italy. Scacciadiavoli translates to “drives out devils” since at one time an exorcist lived near the vineyard. Azienda Agraria has been producing wine since 1884 and Sagrantino has been produced in Montefalco since the 1500s. The Sagrantino was fermented in French oak vats and was aged for 16 months in new oak barrels then held in the bottle for an additional 9 months, in accordance with DOCG regulations. This is a wine that has 20 or more years of cellaring potential. A 2007 Sagrantino is not a $10 bottle of wine, it is closer to $30, but it is still a value priced Red wine. This is a unique wine with bottle age, a long interesting history and can be aged for a couple of decades, that does not cost an arm and a leg. If you are interested in cellaring a few bottles of wine, a Sagrantino sells for a fraction of a similar Napa Cabernet Sauvignon or Bordeaux Red. The alcohol content is 15.5%.
The color is an impressively dark and brooding shade of black cherry red. The nose is complicated, there is plums, violets, new leather jacket, spice drops candy, clove chewing gum and ripe blackberries. This is a bold, but balanced wine and tastes surprisingly young for a bottle that is 6 years old, there is a lot of life left. It starts with blackberry, dark chocolate, a little Dr. Pepper and tart cranberry. The mid palate adds a healthy dose of raisin spice, a slap from the tannins and black cherry. The tannins and the acidity have not mellowed out yet, it is highly drinkable now, but thinks should get very interesting as time passes. The finish is full and lengthy.
I heard about a tradition for wine drinkers, that I think is great. When a child is born, purchase several (as many as you can afford) bottles of an excellent age worthy wine of the same vintage as the child’s birth year. Then over time, when any milestone is reached that you choose, you break a bottle out and toast the occasion. The first day of school, the first home run or soccer goal, first date, high school graduation, first day of college, any significant date that has meaning for you. As the child grows and matures, so does the wine, it will be different from the last time you opened a bottle and you can reflect on the changes within the family during the same time frame. When the child turns 21 and is of legal drinking age, you sit down with your kid and open the last 21 year old bottle and toast to the development from a child to an adult, with a wine that has made the journey with you. Most wines that can take that trip with you have price tags that put them out of reach of most wine drinkers. If $30 something bucks a bottle is a little stiff for new parents, the grandparents, aunts and uncles or loving neighbors should be able to afford 6 bottle or maybe a full case. If you are of Italian heritage, a Sagrantino can bring even greater meaning. Be sure to set aside 2 or 3 bottles to go the full 21 years, if a cork goes bad or something goes wrong with a bottle, you have back ups so you are not toasting with vinegar at the climatic moment. To sum it up, the Scacciadiavoli Montefalco Sagrantino is a wine that is definitely worthy of sharing at the most important moments of your life, which makes it a value wine in every sense of the word.