A Wine Lover’s Diary, Part 573: Montefalco Sagrantino

Francesca and Paolo Bartolini

Monday, November 23rd: Went to the funeral for John Hanna, whom everyone knew as Jack. A very moving eulogy from his son Ian, who played the guitar and sang. The church was crowded, the wine trade turned out in droves – which is only as it should be to celebrate the life of a fine gentleman.

In the afternoon to Cibo on Yonge Street for a tasting of Sagrantino from Umbria. Two wineries on show – Cantina Le Climate (owned by brother and sister Paolo and Francesca Bartolini, who were there to pour) and a single wine from Tenute Bellafonte (to which we helped ourselves).

  • Cantina Le Climate Aragon 2013 (Vermentino and Grechetto): medium-bodied, crisply dry, minerally, white peach flavour. (87)
  • Cantina Le Climate Saudade Rosato 2014 (Sagrantino): deep salmon colour; sour cherry nose; crisply dry with cherry and rhubarb flavours; good length. (88)
  • Cantina Le Climate Montefalco Rosso 2011 (Sangiovese, Cabernet, Merlot and Sagrantino): deep plum colour; vanilla oak, cedar, leather notes on the nose; medium-bodied, dry, firmly structured with a tannic finish. (87)
  • Cantina Le Climate Montefaclo Sagrantino 2010: deep ruby-purple colour; earthy, cedary, black cherry nose; dry, spicy flavours of tobacco and black cherry; full-bodied, with firm tannins which are a touch green. Needs time. (8889)
  • Tenute Bellafonte Sagrantino 2011: deep ruby colour; a nose of tobacco, cedar, penci lead; full-bodied, well-extracted sweet black fruit flavours with a lovely mouth-feel. Needs time for the tannins to mellow. (89–91)

Tenute Bellafonte Collenottolo Sagrantino 2011

For dinner, lamb chops and bottle of Château Hauchat Fronsac 2011: deep ruby colour; a nose of blackcurrant and cedar; medium-bodied, dry, lean, redcurrant and oak flavours (87).

Tuesday, November 24th: A Vintages tasting today to catch up on a Friday tasting I missed. In the afternoon I visited iYellow Wine Club’s wine cave at 243 Queen Street West to meet with Angela Aiello. We discussed how we could work together on the Ontario Wine Awards. For dinner, grilled salmon with Jean-Max Roger Sancerre Blanc Cuvée G.C. 2014: a truly delicious wine: golden straw in colour; grassy, peach and citrus nose; dry, medium-bodied, beautifully balanced and full in the mouth with a mineral thread and floral top note (91).

Wednesday, November 25th: A lunch meeting at The Chef’s House with Cathy Martin and Doris Miculan-Bradley to discuss Chef Massimo’s role as a food and wine ambassador for Grapes for Humanity, as well as projects for up-coming fund-raisers. For dinner, beef stir-fry with a bottle of Robert Oatley Signature Series McLaren Vale Shiraz 2013: dense purple-black colour with a floral, blackcurrant and blackberry nose; full-bodied, dry and savoury with flavours of blackberries, black olives and leather; ripe fruit with soft tannins. Well priced at $19.95 (90).

Thursday, November 26th: Spent much of the day contacting Bordeaux wineries to try to set up visits for my annual European wine tour. Trying to get some First Growth tastings. Apparently I need new lenses.

Friday, November 27th: A Vintages release. A big one for December. Stopped in for French Fries at New York Fries on Yonge Street on the way home – the perfect food after a big tasting of red wines.

Saturday, November 28th: Deborah and I went downtown to shop for her Christmas present. Much more satisfactory than worrying about what I should choose for her. Ended up at Tiffany’s. Not really what I had in mind.

Dinner this evening to celebrate my daughter-in-law Sasha’s 30th birthday with her twin sister Anastasia. Sasha’s parent, Zoya and Valentin and her husband Guy all met at Ascari on Queen West. I ordered Disznoko Dry Furmint 2014 and Domaine Mabileau-Rezé Quintessence St. Nicolas de Bourgeuil 2012 from their over-priced wine list. Deborah accidentally set her menu of fire with a tea-light in the centre of the table.


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