Countdown: Day 158: Super Sexy Sagrantino!

The most recently introduced variety to Oliver’s Taranga ‘Small Batch’ range is Sagrantino.

Our Sagrantino block

This Italian variety from Montefalco in Umbria is creating quite a stir here in Australia, with only very small amounts currently grown here. The original variety is said to be brought into Italy by the Byzantine monks in the Middle Ages.

Sagrantino is derived from the Italian word “sacificio” which means, “to sacrifice” We find the name very apt, as it has been challenging to grow and an inconsistent yielder.

Sagrantino has great adaptability to wine regions with windy, dry zones, that have a preference for clayey-flinty soils- a perfect match for our McLaren Vale vineyards.

Don and Marg Oliver travelled to Montefalco in 2006, after planting Sagrantino a year or so earlier.  Apprehensively, they asked the locals their opinion on this variety and like all good Italians they answered to “give this vine time and have patience”, reassuring them that they wouldn’t be disappointed with the wait.

Our Sagrantino is a deep red ruby colour , tannic (due to the rich anthocyanins in the berry skins) with an attractive violet and blueberry fruit perfume.  Extended time in older oak balanced this full-bodied style, adding vanilla and smoky flavours.

This red is not for the faint hearted, like all full bodied (especially Italian) varieties it is best matched with food.  Above all, it is a fantastic example of complexity and tannic layers, extending even the most experienced palates.  With only a small proportion of vineyards growing this variety in Australia, we would like to think we are one of the pioneers to bring this wine to the Australian consumer.