Balancing Rock (now Balancing Heart) 2015 Sagrantino

Sagrantino wines from Montefalco such as Arnaldo Caprai Collepiano take years of cellaring before they are really approachable, the tannins need to soften allowing the fruit to emerge, when this happens they are joy to drink with layers of complexity. Sagrantino is second behind only Tannat on the tannic scale. But this is the Granite Belt with associated Granite Belt winemaking and 2015 was a cooler more challenging vintage, so I’m wondering what a mere 5 year old Saggy looks and tastes like?2015 sagrantino

First impressions show a wine that looks young, fresh and bright in the glass, deeply coloured, swirling reveals lots of pinkish/red rose petals – hard to see much evidence of ageing. The bouquet needs a lot of time to open up and slowly starts to reveal some cola and cigar box/tobacco with dark chocolate and underlying berry fruits rather disinclined to reveal themselves, a little charry oak and something similar to soft, smoky beetroot – yes I know, odd descriptor, but that’s the best I can do with this aroma. I had to spend 45 minutes just with the bouquet before my first taste. It didn’t help that I asked my wife to comment, she was preparing dinner and said she could smell onions and nail polish remover. I asked her to put the glass down and just smell her hand, sure enough – onions and nail polish remover!

A complex and still evolving palate reveals a paradoxically big fruit swell with black and blue berries still in a reluctant mood as they hand over to dark chocolate, cigar box and earth, there is a citrus rind sourness, some driving but balanced acid and the tannic finish is impressively drying. Given enough time you begin to encounter some succulent raspberry lollies, granite belt minerals are a late feature unearthed by those protracted lingering tannins. A big wine with big structure still undergoing significant development, you could drink it now but accompanying food is a must. If you only have one I suggest you don’t open it until it’s at least 10.

Tasted: Friday 2nd October, 2020 without food and then with over several hours.
Alcohol: 12.95%
Closure: Screwcap
Price: $39
Suggested Drinking Window: 2025 to 2030
Winemaker: Mike Hayes
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Posted by Peter Pacey

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