This is that relatively rare occurence of a winery visited on my holiday that actually turned into a buy. In terms of scenery the location isn`t one of Umbria`s most picturesque and the winery itself was a building site as the construction of spacious new accomodation nears completion. All hands were on deck as the winemaker cruised up and down on a concrete skimming machine and others were busy cleaning and preparing for the new tanks to be installed in time for harvest. Although the Tabarrini family have been farmers and grape producers for generations, they have only bottled their own wines since the 1990s.
Their vineyards have always been special, with a more southerly aspect than many and with a variety of terroirs and viticultural methods. The most bizarre of these is the vines-up-trees training method employed for their iconic white - the Adarmando - named after a much loved family member. The grape variety is rare, though its plantation is increasing. Named Trebbiano Spoletino it is somewhat reminiscent of Vermentino and ages very well.
The super Sagrantinos are the flagship wines here of course, but the Rosso, with its typical Sangiovese, Barbera, Sagrantino blend is extremely worthwhile. The texture of all the reds is notable and they too repay age.
Farming here is organic, though the family is shy about this, worrying that people will think them mad, and handling of the wine is fairly minimal - the new cellar will further help with this. Oak is mostly limited to vast vessels and there are only a few barriques for the top wines. The use of sulphur is minimal across the range, while the level of detail and winegrowing nous is enormous. (CW 05/10/16)