Montefalco Sagrantino Passito & Cheesecake

Montefalco Sagrantino Passito – An Umbrian Dessert Wine
The Sagrantino grape is native to the Umbria region in Italy, and it is only rarely seen anywhere else in the rest of the world.  It is at once intensely acidic and tannic, so it poses challenges for the winegrower and for the the wine drinker!

Historically, the wines were so tannic that Umbrian winegrowers found the best application of Sagrantino as a sweet wine.  Through the passito process of drying the grapes on racks for at least 30 days, the grape must and juice is concentrated and intensified to produce a wine full of rich fruit flavor, strong tannins, and very nice residual sugar.

A perfect foil for that double rich cheesecake

A perfect foil for that super-rich cheesecake

Sweet or Dry
Sagrantino isn’t your everyday red wine, so you may have to do a little searching to find one.  As for the dessert wine, make sure you find Montefalco Sagrantino Passito. Montefalco Sagrantino will be a fine wine for the dinner table, but you wouldn’t want it for dessert!

Inky dark

Montefalco Sagrantino Passito – not your everyday dessert wine.

Perticaia Montefalco Sagrantino Passito DOCG 2006 ($59 at France 44)
Eye: Deepest dark red with blue-purple color at the edge.
Nose: Ripe blueberries with a bit of leather and cedar box. Nice.
Mouth: So interesting; sweet but quite tannic. The sweetness completely changes the character of the wine as compared to a dry Sagrantino.

This wine pours inky dark in the glass.

This wine pours inky dark in the glass.

Desserts for Montefalco Sagrantino Passito
The best desserts seem to be those that are rich, but not overly sweet or sugary.  I had heard Sagrantino Passito would be great with chocolate.  I first tried this wine with a “killer brownie” from our local premium grocery store.  Unfortunately, the brownie was so over-the-top sweet, it didn’t pair well at all with the wine.  It also was horrible by itself.  I guess I misunderstood what they meant when they said “killer”.

PERFECT: Blueberry New York cheesecake. Make sure the blueberries aren’t overly sweet, I reduced some frozen wild blueberries in a saucepan to concentrate the juice. As you would expect, the New York style cheesecake was intensely rich.  That richness provided plenty for the tannins in the wine to counterbalance.  The dark blue fruit in the wine matched the blueberries nicely.

Top your cheesecake with blueberries and you have a perfect match.

Top your cheesecake with blueberries and you have a perfect match.

8 Responses to “Montefalco Sagrantino Passito & Cheesecake”
  1. Vino Travels says:

    Love the Perticaia wines. Just wrote about their Montefalco Rosso with strozzapreti. Haven’t tried a passito though of Sagrantino. Looks delicious!

  2. Sounds fantastic. As many Sagrantinos as I have enjoyed over the past few months I have not yet had the Passito. I would love to try it. Petricaia is a good producer! We had a bit of Vin Santo last week in Tuscany ~ yum! Continued safe travels!

  3. Luca Marchiori says:

    Perticaia is not a vineyard I know … yet, as I am inspired to pop along and visit from this post. As a closet pâtissier I am always looking for good local dessert wine: and that cheescake combo looks amazing. Only an hour since dinner but hungry all over again 🙂

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] and intense.  Amarone and Sforzato are unusual as dry wines, as most passito process wines are for dessert, being left with significant amounts of residual […]

  2. […] from Italy: Moscato d’Asti, Brachetto, and of course, rich wines from dried grapes such as Montefalco Sagrantino Passito. This month, I’m taking on Marsala, that neglected, nearly forgotten wine of past glory from […]

  3. […] Traditionally, Sagrantino has been produced in the passito style (partially dried grapes) into a sweet dessert wine. In 1976, winegrowers started making dry red wines from the grape as well. We’d love to have […]

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