who grows the grapes? who makes the wines?
Mario Napolini, alongside his wife and his parents, represents the latest generation in a centuries long tradition. While Mario guides the work in the cellar, Matteo and Clara, his parents, continue to oversee all work in the vineyard. Treatments in the vineyards are limited to copper and sulphur and they do everything in their power to keep those to a minimum.
what wines do they make?
Montefalco, in the heart of Umbria, is most famous for Sagrantino and the Napolini family produces a dense, structured Montefalco Sagrantino DOCG that stands alongside the best in the region. This wine, by law, is made from 100% Sagrantino. The family’s Montefalco Rosso And their Rosso di Monti incorporates Sangiovese, Montepulciano di Abruzzo and Merlot and offer tremendous value.
when might you want to open a bottle?
Sagrantino is one of Italy’s boldest red varietals and the Montefaclo Sagrantino DOCG from Napolini is for robust fare and very definetly not for sipping. Think roasted or grilled lamb, beef or venison with rich sauces based on tomatoes when considering the Sagrantino. At the opposite end of the spectrum, their Rosso di Monti is an ideal Wednesday night wine that accompanies the preparation of meal as well as the meal itself. In the middle is the Montefalco Rosso which has the weight to pair with richer risottos and pasta’s in red sauce.
where is the winery?
Napolini is in Montefalco, which is located in the heart of Umbria, which in turn is found right in the middle of Italy. Montefalco dates back to Roman times and the town sits high above the surrounding vineyards that flank “Falcon Mountain”. Umbria has a reputation as being one of the breadbaskets of Italy, so rich and vibrant are it’s soils. As a result, the DOCG laws specifically state that 100% Sagrantino wines must come from hillside vineyards with poorer than average soils as the vines grow too quickly if they are planted at the bottom of hills. You might want to read about the “Sagrantino Way“, an effort by the region to highlight local producers of wine and other agricultural products for a better idea of what the area offers.
why might you want to taste?
Sagrantino reaches its highest highs in and around Montefalco yet it remains a grape imported by few into the US. Napolini’s DOCG version offers a look at what a small, traditional family winery can do with a grape that sometimes is subjected to a far more “international” style of winemaking. On the lower end of the price scale, their Montefalco Rosso and Rosso di Monti wines offer tremendous value for those who enjoy that quintessential Italian blend of fruit and earth notes in an un-pretentious glass of wine.
how is it made?
The Sagrantino DOCG macerates for 30-35 days before being transfered to a combination of barrique and Slovenian oak barrels for 18 months. Everything at the estate is harvested by hand and fermented using native yeasts. The Montefalco Rosso is aged in Slovenian casks for up to a year, and Rosso di Monti is aged without oak, in stainless steel.