About the Producer: 
Marco Caprai’s aim of fashioning Sargantino di Montefalco fro twenty-first century tastes seems to be pretty well on target. His special selection called 25 Anni, created in 1993 to celebrate the Val di Maggio estate’s first quarter century in 1996, has won growing acclaim in Italy with sometimes lavish ratings from critics. But Sagrantino as a category is still to rare and exotic to have make an impact abroad. Caprai, backed by a fortune complies by his father Arnaldo in the textile industry, works with Attilio Pagli, a Tuscan consulting enologist who has access to the ultimate in equipment, including mounting rows of French Barriques, which are gradually replacing the casks of Slavonian oak that long prevailed in Umbria’s cellars. Pagli’s techniques have somewhat tempered Sargantino’s noted tannic grip on the tongue, while maturing in barriques has lent the wine those touches that are sometimes described as international style. In other words, 25 Anni combines opulence of bouquet and flavor with the requisite doses of new oak to ensure Unbria’s entry to the company of blockbuster reds that seem to have gained the upper hand among the world’s wine critics. Yet some tasters find the wine to be too self-consciously modern, as extravagant as the price, which skyrocketed with the early success. Capria’s dynamic approach contrasts with the calmer progress of other top producers of Sargantino, Adanti, and Antonelli, whose wines have been gaining stature in a less conspicuous manner. Sargantino may be challenging winemakers’ skills and imagination for years to come, though few experts seem to doubt that the variety has the stuff of greatness. From 80 hectares of vines, Val di Maggio produced about 750,000 bottles of wine a year, including the sweet Sargantino Passito, Montefalco Bianco and Rosso DOC and a white called Grecante that qualifies as Grechetto dei Colli Martani DOC.