The Wines of Colsanto



Colsanto is a quite new, and modern, winery that is owned by the Livon family: winemakers in Friuli.  The vineyards date back to only to the 2001 harvest, and the 20 hectares (50 acres) are just now entering maturity of a sort.

The wines of Colsanto are the wines of someone taking a risk. The fermentation is temperature controlled at a relatively low temperature and follows a period of cold soak. These steps seem to be taken in an effort to produce a wine full of the fruit of Sagrantino but without the bitterness and astringency of the tannins.

Barrel ageing continues to be in barrique here, with about one third of it new, though early vintages saw a larger percentage of new wood as there were no barrels to rotate out.
The wines, I tasted only three, show some promise, and some defects. I admire what the Livon family is trying to do here but at this point they are producing quite rustic wines that seem much more like the wines of Friuli than those of Umbria. Still I would have to say that this is an operation to watch. Once they work out the kinks in their operation they may be the once to produce a softer, fruitier, easier to understand Sagrantino that can serve as a gateway wine for the region.

2004 Sagrantino di Montefalco
A stinky nose for sure with sour red fruits and a barnyard full of pooping animals, this smells like a natural wine. At the same time there is something unforced about the nose. In the mouth this is very soft with polished tannins and fine acidity. The fruit is slightly bitter and cherry toned with a lightly leafy aspect to it that acts to refresh the palate. This is very drinkable and even offers some early complexity but seems to lack typicity. 86pts

2003 Sagrantino di Montefalco
This lacks the freshens of the 2004 but shares a rather stinky quality, though with the added complexity that notes of leather, smoke, and toasted oak add. More extracted on the palate with a liquory quality to the red fruits, this is full of drying tannins and spicy oak tones. There’s a touch of sweet fruit here but the wood comes to dominate the palate. 86pts

2002 Sagrantino di Montefalco
Sour on the nose with notes of cigarette smoke, dark fruit, candied red licorice and hints of cinnamon and leather. On the palate this is light and soft with some old coffee character and hints of menthol, rootbeer, and spiced baked cherries. It’s considered to be a poor vintage, and the truth is the wine is nothing special, though it does show the direction that the wines are headed.  84pts

While work is in progress with the Umrian wines, the Livon family has already mastered the meats of ther egion!

Did you miss the first articles in this series?

Find them here.

Part One: Arrival and Montalcino

Part Two: Getting settled in Greve

Part Three: Tasting Chianti

Part Four: The Hill Top Village of Montepulciano

Part Five: The Wines of Montepulciano



Part Six: Traveling in Umbria

Part Seven: The Sagrantino of Montefalco - Adanti



Part Eight: Orvieto

Mentioned in this article


  • Snooth User: raacluse
    172192 1

    Colsanto Ruris is good stuff.

    Dec 23, 2009 at 1:23 PM

Add a Comment

Search Articles

Best Wine Deals

See More Deals

Snooth Media Network