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.