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TONY

WOOD

ITALIAN

WINE

Colli del Trasimeno Wines

A good friend and neighbour asked me over dinner one evening: “You live near to the Lake, why don’t you ever write about the wines produced practically in your back garden?”

My response to this fair question was I didn’t know any of the winemakers or whether they would be in the slightest bit interested in a non Italian speaking, Brit reviewing their wines.

My friend, who is a highly regarded and very successful local businessman going by the name of Cristian Giardini replied: “That’s it! I will take you to a few wineries, belonging to local friends and associates of mine and we shall see what becomes of it!”

A few weeks later from this part arrangement, we met early one morning in Pozzuolo and after coffee, the car sped off in the direction of the lake…

A brief word about this amazing lake: firstly Lake Trasimeno also referred to as just Trasimeno, is in the province of Perugia in Umbria, the verdant region of central Italy, bordering with Tuscany, Le Marche and Lazio. The lake has a surface area of 128 square km (nearly 50 square miles) and is the fourth largest lake in Italy. Only two small streams flow into the lake and none flow out. The water level fluctuates significantly according to the rainfall levels, so generally Trasimeno is shallow, about 5 meters deep, it is rich in fish including pike, carp and tench. It has three islands and is surrounded by medieval hilltop villages and extensive olive groves.


Madrevite

Back to the wine trail, first up was Madrevite, a third generation winery, now in the very capable hands of Nicola Chiucchiurlotto who in 2003 started to restore his grandfather’s old vineyards, some dating back to the 1970’s. "The farm" as Nicola refers to the land is approximately 60 hectares of which 11 hectares are under vine. I asked why Madrevite? Well, it seems a "Madrevite" is an ancient tool used by Umbrian wine producers to fasten the spigot to the barrels full of wine, it symbolises the bond between the past and the modern agronomist practices of today.


Tasting notes



Madrevite

Elve 2020 Trasimeno DOC

Grechetto 100%

Pale straw in colour with greenish undertones. Orchard fruits predominantly pear, honeydew melon, almond, greengage, white and yellow florals. Fresh. Natural depth and texture. Hits the right notes.

Points 89TW



Madrevite

Il Reminone 2020 IGP Bianco

Trebbiano Spoletino 100%

Bright straw yellow in colour. Solid core of yellow fruits, light textured, opens nicely on mid palate, tapers on the back end then fades. Fresh. Clean. Medium to full bodied. Faint hints of shell minerality on close.

Points 88 TW


Madrevite

La Bisbetica 2020 Umbria IGP Rosato

Gamay del Trasimeno 100%

Deep salmon pink in colour with copper undertones. Aromatics of hibiscus, a medley of fruit nuances, wild strawberry, crushed raspberry, star fruit and sour white cherry. Showing youthful tannins and crunchy acidity. A sharp clean line of minerality. Minimum bottle age required. Ready to go.

Points 89 TW




Madrevite

Opra 2021 Trasimeno DOC Gamay del Trasimeno

Gamay del Trasimeno100%

Mid ruby red in colour. A mix of black and red berries, baked plum, sour cherry. Asian spice notes, humus. Fine tannins vie with crunchy acidity. Needs bottle time.

Points 88-90 TW



Madrevite

C’osa 2019 Trasimeno DOC Gamay del Trasimeno Riserva

Gamay del Trasimeno 100%

Pale garnet in colour. Red florals. Red cherry, raspberry, warm strawberry, spice notes. Purity of fruit. Has energy and drive. Still showing residual tannin tension. A year or two in bottle will help with overall balance. Shows great promise.

Points 91 TW


N.B.To clear up any misunderstanding, the word Gamay used in Colli del Trasimeno Wines, is in fact Grenache.


I was kindly given further bottles Titulla, Glanio and Che Syrah Sara these wines I will review in my end of year Orra Wine Review 2022.

Poggio Santa Maria

The next winery was Poggio Santa Maria (of Massimiliano Marchetti): a modern style, recently completed winery and cantina overlooking Lake Chiusi.


Tasting Notes


Poggio Santa Maria

Umbria Chardonnay IGT 2020

Chardonnay 85% Vermentino 15%

Pale straw in colour. Green apple. Yellow florals. Fresh. Crisp. Good balance. Medium bodied. Forward chalky minerality.

Points 88 TW



Poggio Santa Maria

Umbria Rosso IGP 2020

Merlot 40% Sangiovese 40% Cabernet Sauvignon 20%

Deep ruby red in colour. Black cherry, blackcurrant, flabby in texture. Probably due to being served at least 4/5 degrees above its maximum temperature. Not a good showing.

Points 80 TW



Poggio Santa Maria

Montelungo Colli del Trasimeno DOC 2017

Merlot 100%

Deep garnet in colour.Black cherry, blackberry, tobacco, wet leather.

Uneven fruit maturation. Showing overripe fruit and green tannins.

Points 84 TW


Poggio Santa Maria

Montelungo Colli del Trasimeno DOC 2018

Merlot 100%

Ruby red in colour. Red cherry, blackberry, pipe tobacco, leather. Fresh. Rounded texture. Soft curves. Good length on close.

Points 89 TW


Poggio Santa Maria

Tresa Colli del Trasimeno 2018

Merlot. Deep ruby red in colour. Black cherry, wild forest berries, aged leather, liquorice, purple florals, orange peel and dried Mediterranean herbs. Well put together. Hovers on the close.

Points 90 TW


Poggio Bertaio

The Poggio Bertaio winery was born in 1972, when Fabio Ciufoli, father of the current owners moved from Castelli Romani to Castiglione del Lago and purchased the inaugural plot of this estate. Later his two sons each took a role in the family business: Ugo dedicated himself to the management side, while Fabrizio undertook the career of oenolgist, for the family and other wineries.

In 1985 the new cellar was complete and the first bottles of Cimbolo were released.

Today the estate totals 40 hectares of which 20 hectares are under vine. Mainly located at 300 meters above sea level. Nearly all vineyards face due south.



Tasting Notes


Poggio Bertaio

Umbria IGP 2021

Grechetto 100%

Pale straw in colour with greenish highlights.

Fresh, clean and crisp. Showing orchard fruit, yellow and white florals, chalk, grapefruit, honeydew melon. Good balance. Fruity, juicy and linear.

Points 89 TW



Poggio Bertaio

Fiorda Rosato Umbria IGP 2020

Cabernet Sauvignon 100%

Deep salmon with copper undertones in colour. Red fruits, pink rose florals, wild cherry, mulberry. Complex minerality, Medium to full bodied. This will stand up to white meats and well and strong white lake fish. Solid core of packed fruit. Faint liquorice notes on the back end. Long articulated close.

Points 90 TW



Poggio Bertaio

Cimbolo 2016

Sangiovese 100%

Mid ruby red in colour. Red cherry, redcurrant, liquorice, dried Mediterranean herbs, baking spice, lead pencil minerality. Complex texture. Broadens on mid palate. Attractive mouthfeel. Long finish.

Points 93 TW



Poggio Bertaio

Stucchio Umbria IGP 2019

Sangiovese 100%

Mid ruby red in colour. Red cherry, forest berries ,raspberry, blonde pipe tobacco. Fine tannins. Fruit quality of the charts. Faint notes of dark chocolate. Exemplifies house style.

Points 90 TW



Poggio Bertaio

Apo 2006

Sangiovese 60% Merlot 30% Cabernet Sauvignon 10%

Darkest ruby red in colour with black inky undertones.The aromatics are difficult to draw back from. Announces itself with all pomp and ceremony. Totally intoxicating. Complex texture. Black fruits (too many to list), liquorice, blood orange, clove notes. Racy. Juicy. Utterly compelling. The finest red wine that I have tasted in many a long year here in Umbria!

Points 95 TW


N.B. The label on Apo is a copy of a Patek Philippe wristwatch face, owned originally by the grandfather born 1926, then handed to son to son next in 1956 and lastly in 1986.

Morami

Cristian and I followed up our first day around Lake Trasimeno some three weeks later, due to our diary commitments, so part two of this adventure began at Morami a 240 hectares estate, 11 of which are under vine, these vines where planted in 1988 on the shores of the lake.

The winery produces nine wines: 5 whites and 4 reds:


Pratolungo, 70% Grechetto 30% Viognier.

Seiblanc, 100% Sauvignon Blanc

Vicis, 100% Viognier

Gregis, 100% Grechetto

Cardissa, 100% Chardonnay

Podicerni, 70% Sangiovese 30% Alicante

Renaia, 50% Merlot 25% Cabernet Sauvignon 25% Cabernet Franc

Calumi, 100% Sangiovese

Pefra, 100% Petit Verdot

All wines are unfiltered. I decided to taste the following:

Tasting Notes



Morami

Pratolungo 2020

Pale straw in colour. Yellow florals. Grapefruit, green apple, greengage, star fruit. Forward minerality almost sea air. This is because of the high acidity. Tapers at the end. A touch unbalanced.

Points 87 TW



Morami

Cardissa 2020

Bright yellow in colour with gold undertones. Rich and full bodied. Dried candied fruits, almond, white nougat. Soft entry. Fresh. Juicy. Expansive. Good balance. Lingers on the finish.

Points 89 TW



Morami

Renaia 2015

Deep ruby red in colour with dark undertones. Dark cherry, blackberry, rhubarb , faint liquorice notes, balsam. Purple florals. Dusty tannins. A touch below full bodied. Mint and toasted coffee beans nuances on the long close. Very enjoyable.

Points 91 TW


Morami

Pefra 2021

Dark ruby red with purple highlights in colour. Red berries, dark chocolate, raspberry. Red rose florals. Warm soft entry.Vertical on the mid palate. Showing tension. Non integrated tannins and crunchy acidity. These will quieten down after some bottle age. This wine was only bottled 8 weeks prior to my tasting.

Points 88-90 TW


I very much enjoyed my brief visit to Morami. The tasting was attended to in a very professional way. My thanks the owner/ winemaker, whom was unavailable due to prior engagements.

Tenuta Lamborghini

Next up, Tenuta Lamborghini, this estate lies between the south side of the Trasimeno lake and the historic village of Panicale, very close to the border of Umbria and Tuscany.

This property was purchased in the late 1960’s by Ferruccio Lamborghini, yes, the very same owner of tractor and sports car fame.

The estate contains an area of 100 hectares divided between a 9 hole golf course, an agriturismo and approximately 30 hectares under vine.

The vineyards are under the supervision of Ricardo Cotarella.

Sadly, Ferruccio Lamborghini passed away in 1993 at the age of 76, leaving the estate to his daughter Patrizia whom was 17 years of age at the time.

I am not quite clear as to the ownership of the estate today, but I understand a group of investors from Milan have a controlling investment. The CEO of this group was present during our visit but did not introduce himself.

Fortunately the charming and totally professional Margherita Alberati was our host and made our visit totally memorable. I take this opportunity to thank her for showing us around and conducting the tasting.

The estate produces well in excess of twenty different wines (I cannot of the life of me understand why!). They produce approximately 280,000 bottles per annum.


Tasting Notes



Lamborghini

Prosecco Extra Dry DOC (Treviso)

Variety Glera, a neutral grape varietal from the Veneto Region. Charmat method.

Almost transparent in colour. White florals. Ripe orchid fruits, white peach, honey nuances. Soft curves. Little character.

Points 86 TW



Lamborghini

The Legend Pinot Noir (Methode Champenoise)

Pale yellow with golden undertones in colour. Orchard fruit, green apple, pear. White florals. Juicy. Forward acidity. Fine mousse. Persistent and intense.

Points 87 TW


N.B.The difference between the making of the two wines above:

the Charmat Method uses a second fermentation in large stainless steel tanks to trap the carbonation in the wine. In the Methode Champenoise the second fermentation happens inside the individual bottles in which the wines are sold.



Lamborghini

The Legend Rosè Pinot Noir 2019 (Methode Champenoise)

Bright salmon pink in colour. Red berries, some stone white fruits. Complex minerality. Fresh. Crisp. Showing persistent energy. Linear. Clean mouthfeel on close.

Points 89 TW



Lamborghini

Rosè Merlot IGT

Bright pink with copper undertones in colour. Pink rose petal aromatics, wild red berries. Ripe tannins and fresh acidity. Medium bodied. Juicy. Tangerine peel zest on the close.

Points 88 TW



Lamborghini

Centanni Grechetto

Pale straw in colour. Zesty orchard fruits, ripe pear, lemon oil. Grapefruit. Yellow florals. Good texture. Fresh with a linear finish.

Points 89 TW



Lamborghini

Trescone 2018

50% Sangiovese 30% Merlot 20% Cabernet Sauvignon

Intense ruby red in colour. Rich heady florals. Prune, plum, raisin, blackberry, dark Eastern spice. Very expressive. Full bodied, warm entry. Coats the palate with fresh core fruit. Fine tannins and good balance. Long finish.

Points 90 TW



Lamborghini

Era 2018

Sangiovese

Red ruby in colour. Red berries, underbrush, warm earth, spice. Medium bodied. A little tight on the mid palate. Elegant nose. Long finish.

Points 88 TW



Lamborghini

Torami 2017

50% Sangiovese 50% Cabernet Sauvignon

Deep ruby red in colour. Wild forest red berries. Baked plum. Blackberry.Tree bark. Dense. Fresh yet greenish tannins. Integrated. Good length on closure.

Points 89 TW



Lamborghini

Campoleone 2017

50% Sangiovese 50% Merlot

Dense ruby red in colour with purple highlights. Black cherry, blackberry, plum, pipe tobacco, balsam notes, dried earth with shell minerality. Refined. Linear. Articulated finish. Well put together.

Points 92 TW

Cantina Goccia

Finally, we visited the newest of all the wineries in this review: Cantina Goccia (Drop).

Owned and presided over by wife and husband Ceri (pronounced “Kerry”) and Stephen Parke, this visit turned out to be the most surprising and rewarding of all.

Some background on this remarkable team, both born in Zimbabwe, South Africa, Ceri studied Economics and Psychology at University in South Africa, Stephen following University took up Electrical Engineering and in turn became an entrepreneur.

They purchased the property in Petrignano sul Lago situated west of Lake Trasimeno in 2003, consisting of a main house and two further buildings all in need of major building work, attached to 5 hectares of vineyard. The vineyard was planted with Sangiovese and the produce was then sold in bulk to a local co-op. In 2006 the vineyard becomes under Ceri and Stephen’s ownership.

It wasn’t until 2012 that they decided to take the plunge into bottling their own wine. This decision was coupled with an additional purchase: a 12 hectare plot nearby with 6 hectare under vine.

That same year another monumental decision was made, to replant their entire holdings with Sangiovese, Pinot Noir, Vermentino, Chardonnay, Grechetto and Merlot with a density of 5,000 plants per hectare, all vineyards approximately 300 metres above sea level.

Always mindful of sustainability this winery applied for an organic license in 2018.

Their philosophy is firmly bedded on tradition with quality, innovation and sustainability at the forefront. This became even more evident later during my visit.


Which neatly brings me to the tasting, the first two wines were served from recycled paper outer bottles with a food grade liner to hold the wine. This was my first encounter with paper wine bottles, and I have to admit I am a hardened traditionalist when it comes to wine. So the first question to pop up in my mind was: ‘Why?’ This was quickly followed by my own answer: 'Why not!' Frankly all I am interested in is the wine, if the winemaker feels justified in serving it from jam jars—that is fine! The quality and presence of the wine is my only concern.

Apart from the potential marketing angle (for my more cynical of readers), there are some really good reasons for Ceri and Stephen’s decision to package their wine this way, IT IS BETTER FOR THE ENVIRONMENT: Its carbon footprint is up to six times lower than a glass bottle. Easy to recycle with 77% less plastic used than in a plastic bottle. Easy branding allowing 360 degrees printing and information on the bottle. Lighter by fivefold than a glass bottle: 83 grams.

The vast majority of the wine they produce is packaged this way, approximately 60,000 bottles.

To prove the courage of their conviction…this solution costs them far more than the glass route!

Cantina Goccia do bottle some wines in glass, this is because these wines need and benefit from long term bottle age, which is not possible with the ‘paper bottle’ version.

I believe this is the first winery in the world to use this packaging in a commercial way. They export to Canada, Japan, Finland, Netherlands and the UK. But, enough about the bottles…

Tasting Notes



Cantina Goccia

Celi 2021 Umbria IGT

A blend of Grechetto, Vermentino, Chardonnay.

Pale yellow in colour with bright undertones. Orchard fruits, green apple, greengage, almond. Fresh. Balanced. Medium bodied. Soft edges. Full of youthful energy. Linear finish.

Points 90 TW


Cantina Goccia

Celi 2020 Umbria IGT

A blend of Grechetto, Vermentino, Chardonnay.

Pale yellow in colour. Yellow florals. Concentrated fruits of yellow apple, pear, citrus and mild spice notes. Sweet mouthfeel. Rounded with good textural weight. Mid palate shows fresh fruits with nuances of blond tobacco. Faint herbal notes on the back end.

Points 89 TW


Cantina Goccia

Nesso 2013

100% Sangiovese

Bright and intense ruby red in colour. Ripe red cherry, raspberry, plum, blackcurrant, tobacco, Eastern spice. Complex layered intensity. Focused. Saturates the palate with stunning depth and volume. Terroir driven. Has an air of honesty about its character.

Points 93 TW



Cantina Goccia

3Q 2020

60% Sangiovese 20% Merlot 20% Cabernet Sauvignon

Intense ruby red in colour. Red fruit: cherry, pomegranate, plum. Liquorice. Balsam notes. Warm entry. Rounded. Juicy on the mid palate an uplift due to a clear line of saline minerality, assisting the freshness and enjoyment. Articulated long finish.

Points 92 TW



Cantina Goccia

Vers 2012

A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot

Ruby red in colour. Rich heavy bouquet of red rose petal, dark cherry, baked plum, soft warm raspberry, liquorice, cocoa, warm earth and dried Mediterranean herbs. Dense and sumptuous. Finely grained tannins vie with soft fresh acidity [Ph 3.82]. Structure is powerful but quiet as a Tesla motor engine. Very expressive. Finish that lingers.

Points 94 TW


My trip around my “back garden” was hugely enjoyable, sometimes frustrating, but above all entertaining and very worthwhile. I thank all the wineries for their hospitality and time.

A special mention and’ thank you’ to my good friend Cristian Giardini for his patience and fortitude during this wine adventure.


© Tony Wood Italian Wine 2022
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