Contrario… How does your garden grow?  Is it full of Sagrantino vines?

While visiting Umbria last year we stopped to see Filippo Antonelli, a true Umbrian gentleman and a Master of Sagrantino.  Of all the wines we tasted that day, the bottle that remains etched in my mind was one of his new creations, the Antonelli CONTЯARIO.  This wine is made from 100% Sagrantino grapes, but it is in every way contrary (contrario) to all the DOCG laws governing the Sagrantino di Montefalco wines.

Sagrantino Vines

Sagrantino vines in December.

The Sagrantino di Montefalco DOCG, requires a long ageing in barrel (minimum 4 years).  While Antonelli makes these kind of big, robust DOCG Sagrantino wines, Filippo wanted to show a softer, fresher side of the grape as well.  CONTЯARIO is an IGT Umbria appellation which spends only 2 years ageing before release, and contrary to its big brothers, CONTЯARIO sees only stainless steel vats. This is a fresh, balanced wine for every meal- even a simply dish of Penne al Pomodoro.Penne al Pomodoro

I love that in tasting the CONTЯARIO, the hallmarks for Sagrantino are apparent, but are stripped down to their barest notes of fresh red currant, brambly blackberry and even grapefruit rind.  Unique and recognizable- this is a really fun (if contrary) expression of Sagrantino.