Lungarotti Montefalco Rosso 2018
Blend: 60% Sangiovese, 25% Merlot, 15% Sagrantino
Lungarotti’s history is a love-story for the land spanning many generations. In the 18th century the Lungarotti family was already producing wine and olive oil in the Mid-Tiber River valley. After World War II this activity grew and was consolidated, culminating in the creation of Rubesco and Torre di Giano whose first vintage on the market dates back to 1962. These wines represent two of the first DOC appellations in Italy (Rosso and Bianco di Torgiano, since 1968). The 1964 vintage marks the first production of Rubesco Riserva Vigna Monticchio (Torgiano Rosso Riserva DOCG), a wine which has put Umbria on the world wine map.
Since 1999, when Giorgio Lungarotti passed away, the estate has been guided by his daughter Chiara, the CEO, and her sister Teresa, assisted by their mother Maria Grazia and grandchildren Francesco and Gemma.
Today Lungarotti boasts 250 hectares of vineyards whose cornerstone is sustainability, between the Torgiano estate (230 ha, VIVA certification since 2018) and the one in Montefalco (20 ha, organic since 2010). Native varietals such as Sangiovese, Colorino, Sagrantino, Grechetto, Trebbiano Spoletino and Vermentino are planted alongside international varietals like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio.
Lungarotti is not just wine but also culture, with the Wine Museum of Torgiano, defined by the New York Times as “best in Italy” and the Olive and Oil Museum, managed by the non-profit Lungarotti Foundation directed by art historian Maria Grazia Lungarotti.
Finally, on the scenic road leading up from Torgiano to the Brufa hill – right in between Perugia and Assisi - Lungarotti has created Poggio alle Vigne, an elegant agriturismo among the Rubesco vineyards, ideal for enjoying relaxing holidays surrounded by the scents and sounds of nature.
Winery tours, wine tastings and typical products of the territory at the two wineries, picnics and trekking in the vineyards, guided museum tours: a multitude of experiences to savour in the green heart of Umbria. All this is the Lungarotti Experience.
Centered upon the lush Apennine Range in the center if the Italian peninsula, Umbria is one of the few completely landlocked regions in Italy. It’s star red grape variety, Sagrantino, finds its mecca around the striking, hilltop village of Montefalco. The resulting wine, Sagrantino di Montefalco, is an age-worthy, brawny, brambly red, bursting with jammy, blackberry fruit and earthy, pine forest aromas. By law this classified wine has to be aged over three years before it can be released from the winery and Sagrantino often needs a good 5-10 more years in bottle before it reaches its peak. Incidentally these wines often fall under the radar in the scene of high-end, age-begging, Italian reds, giving them an almost cult-classic appeal. They are undoubtedly worth the wait!
Rosso di Montefalco, on the other had, is composed mainly of Sangiovese and is a more fruit-driven, quaffable wine to enjoy while waiting for the Sagrantinos to mellow out.
Among its green mountains, perched upon a high cliff in the province of Terni, sits the town of Orvieto. Orvieto, the wine, is a blend of at least 60% Trebbiano in combination with Grechetto, with the possible addition of other local white varieties. Orvieto is the center of Umbria’s white wine production—and anchor of the region’s entire wine scene—producing over two thirds of Umbria’s wine. A great Orvieto will have clean aromas and flavors of green apple, melon and citrus, and have a crisp, mineral-dominant finish.
With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended red wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged resulting in a wide variety of red wine styles. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a red wine blend variety that creates a fruity and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is naturally high in acidity and tannins. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.
How to Serve Red Wine
A common piece of advice is to serve red wine at “room temperature,” but this suggestion is imprecise. After all, room temperature in January is likely to be quite different than in August, even considering the possible effect of central heating and air conditioning systems. The proper temperature to aim for is 55° F to 60° F for lighter-bodied reds and 60° F to 65° F for fuller-bodied wines.
How Long Does Red Wine Last?
Once opened and re-corked, a bottle stored in a cool, dark environment (like your fridge) will stay fresh and nicely drinkable for a day or two. There are products available that can extend that period by a couple of days. As for unopened bottles, optimal storage means keeping them on their sides in a moderately humid environment at about 57° F. Red wines stored in this manner will stay good – and possibly improve – for anywhere from one year to multiple decades. Assessing how long to hold on to a bottle is a complicated science. If you are planning long-term storage of your reds, seek the advice of a wine professional.