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Details for Antonelli, Montefalco Rosso

AppellationMontefalco Rosso DOC
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Antonelli San Marco
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When it comes to wine, Umbria has long been overshadowed by its famous neighbour to the northwest, Tuscany.  Since the two share similar terrain, climate and cuisine, there would seem to be no good reason for this.  Yet only in recent years has Umbria started to realise its potential.
Orvieto is the best-known Umbrian wine, but this once-famed white has languished for many decades, the victim of DOC regulations that allowed (indeed, mandated) too much of the dull Procanico (Trebbiano Toscano) in the blend.  Recent rule changes are discouraging Procanico in favour of more interesting varieties like the local Grechetto, and Orvieto quality is on the rise.  However, the best examples of the nutty, full-bodied Grechetto are still to be found labelled as IGT Umbria, or from the Colli Martani DOC.
Sangiovese-based reds are good value and can be excellent, as shown by the Torgiano DOCG and the nearby Montefalco Rosso DOC.  Montefalco is, however, better known for its powerful, long-lived wine from the local Sagrantino grape (DOCG since 1993).

Antonelli San Marco

A ridge extends westwards from the dramatic hilltop town of Montefalco, and at the end of it, 4.5km from the medieval walled town, sits Antonelli San Marco.  Its vineyards stretch away downslope to the south and south-west, below the state of the art, gravity-fed winery.
The San Marco estate dates back to medieval times.  Its current boundaries are almost identical to those recorded in the 13th century when it belonged to the Bishop of Spoleto.  In 1881 it was bought by Francesco Antonelli, a wealthy lawyer from Spoleto, who embarked on a program of replanting and modernisation.
A report from 1899 shows that its red wines were well-regarded, but, as was normal in this remote region, they continued to be sold in cask to merchants and local trattorias.  Only in 1979 did the estate begin to bottle and market their own production.  Fifth-generation Filippo Antonelli is now at the helm and has converted the estate to organic viticulture, with 2012 the first vintage to achieve organic certification.
This is the heart of the Sagrantino de Montefalco DOCG, and Antonelli produce a range of these powerful, long-lived reds including a single vineyard wine and a traditional sweet passito.  There is also a Sangiovese-based Montefalco Rosso DOC and occasionally a Riserva.  Though this is very much red wine country they produce two highly-regarded whites: one from Grechetto and the other from the rare local speciality Trebbiano Spoletino.

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