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This year, 2012, sees the Umbrian producer Lungarotti celebrate two anniversaries. It has been 50 years since the renovation of the winery and vineyards and 50 years since the launch of their ‘icon’ wine the Rubesco. They have launched a special anniversary wine in celebration, a red called simply ‘50’.

No samples offered of ‘50’, a 100% Sangiovese, during a visit to Lungarotti, one of the largest producers in the region. What was available to try – and drink – included the Rubesco, its white stable-mate the Torre di Giano, and a dessert wine the Lungarotti Dulcis. Each as delicious as the next and really shining with the simple, local fare, served for an evening meal. (When I say simple, I mean in a rustic/local manner as a counter to anything overly fancified, rather than meaning anything derogatory).

What could be better while relaxing after a winery tour with the two sisters who run the company – Chiara and Teresa – than with a glass of bubbly in front of a warming open fire? It being a cold winter in Umbria. The sparkling, Lungarotti Brut [Adegga / Snooth] a 50-50 mix of Chardonnay and Pinot Nero. It’s a fine enough wine as an aperitif but maybe lacking any great depth and complexity.

According to David Lowe (writing on the International Wine Tourism site)

Chiara Lungarotti is now the CEO of the Lungarotti Group which produces nearly three million bottles per year and has 120 staff. Despite the size of production, quality is never sacrificed. Teresa says, “Never be in a hurry… each kind of wine needs its own time… We do not sell wine when it is unbalanced, tough, rude; we give a consumer a wine when it is ready, not before”.

The Lungarotti Torre di Giano 2010 [Adegga / Snooth] is a mix of Trebbiano (70%) and Grechetto (30%) which I scribbled a note summing the white up as ‘fresh, easy drinking with a typical slightly bitter, nutty finish’. Typical of the Umbrian style (Trebbiano is never going to be hugely complex), clean, cool, light, and great with a mix of Pecorino cheese, hams and salamis. I imagine a little seafood would be a wonderful partner too.

The Lungarotti Rubesco 2008 [Adegga / Snooth] is mainly Sangiovese with a third coming from Canaiolo. A wine worthy of just a little age to smooth out the rampant tannins and provide a silky mature elegance.

And then the Lungarotti Dulcis NV [Adegga / Snooth] which is a lovely fortified wine from Trebbiano and ‘other local white varieties’ given two years in barrel. I’d edge towards matching with cheese (blue) and foie-gras rather than anything too ‘puddinge’, for it has a dry twist on the finish.

As we discovered the Lungarotti family have interests outside the vineyard but still rooted in the regional heritage. There is a fun wine museum (with a vibrantly enthusiastic young curator) where a competition saw us dash from room to room following clues and hunting for small engraved snails, mythical creatures amongst Picasso prints and unique chalices in a plethora of exhibits encompassing wine history from the Etruscans through to more modern developments. There is an olive oil museum too. Time pressures made this a more flying visit; still highly entertaining under the auspices of our waist-coated guide. I recall some convoluted story that linked the layout of New York streets with the British Empire and ancient Roman olive producers…

All these properties are in the town of Torgiano just to the south of Perugia. A prime location for visiting Lungarotti. Entry to the museums is €4.50 a guide (in English, German, French or Spanish) is available on appointment. The winery reception is free, reservations are appreciated (closed Sundays and for lunch 1-3). Check the Lungarotti website for details.

6 Comments »

  1. Marcy Gordon says:

    Nice recap of the lovely wines and people at Lungarotti.

  2. David says:

    Ah, great memories.

    I was really impressed with the sparkler (as were the guests who drank it on my birthday a few days later) – nothing complicated or vain; just a good aperitif.

  3. Nice write-up, good job. I’ve admired the wines from Lungarotti. There are some interesting reds in the region, and a few whites that go well with the fish and eels from Lake Trasimeno. I’ve always found the area around Perugia to have some fascinating but underappreciated wines (except for the Montefalco wines).

    Ciao.
    Michael

  4. Vino says:

    Great article! Italy is my favorite country!

  5. Per-BKWine says:

    Glad to hear you had a good visit. When I was there, together with a small group of wine lovers, the guide (no sisters in sight) said to me after half the tour: “Oh, that’s a big camera you have and it looks as if you’re a photographer. Don’t take any pictures! If you’re a photographer you must have a permission to take pictures in the winery. You’re not allowed to take pictures here!”……

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