With lush, rolling hills and beautiful sunshine Umbria, as much as any other Italian region, represents the romantic view that many American’s have of the Italian countryside. It is the only region, of the 20 in Italy, that does not border either the ocean or another country, making it in some ways Italy’s heartland. That said, one thing Umbria is not world-renowned for is wine. Umbria is the fourth smallest region in Italy as far as wine production, and as of a couple years ago only 17% of the wine produced in the region was produced at the DOC/DOCG level. This isn’t to say that there aren’t exciting wine regions in Umbria, but much of the wine is produced in regions that don’t need much explanation.
This wine is from such a region – the Umbria IGT. As with most IGT regions, especially the regional ones, this region doesn’t really need explaining. Quite simply, the Umbria IGT covers wines of just about all varieties and styles made from grapes grown in the region of Umbria. Pretty straightforward. But to say that the region isn’t very interesting isn’t to say the same about some of the wines produced there. One of the benefits of IGT regions is that because so many grapes and styles are permissible, winemakers have much more freedom to experiment with different types of wine, making wines from these regions pretty diverse. The best example of this, of course, is seen in Tuscany, where the Toscana IGT is home to the now world-famous Super Tuscans (more on that in a future post). With a mix of Italian and French varieties, the good wines made in these IGTs are unlike wines found in any other Italian region.
This Umbria IGT wine comes from the producer Perticaia, and is a blend of Sangiovese (80%), Colorino, and Merlot. It has a dark, ruby red color to it. The nose has dark fruit notes, mainly cherry and a hint of licorice. The body is a bit delicate, with some nice acidity and rather subtle tannins. The body has flavors of dark cherry, blackberry, spice, and a bit of oak. It has a nice finish with pretty good length and a nice spicy flavor and a little bit of bitterness. Overall it’s a very drinkable wine; not overly complex but very approachable.