Scacciadiavoli is a winery in the Montefalco region of Umbria, Italy. White wines are made under the Montefalco Bianco DOC. Red wines are made under the Montefalco Rosso DOC, the Montefalco Sagrantino DOCG and Montefalco Sagrantino Passito DOCG.
Owner: The Pambuffetti family: Liù Pambuffetti, Iacopo Pambuffetti. Although Liù is a Italianised Chinese name and a character Puccini’s opera Turandot, Liù’s father chose the name because he remembered that when he was 4 years old there was a Chinese lady called Liù living in Montefalco. As she was ‘his first love’ he gave this name to his first child. ‘A sentimental father,’ says Liù. In 1954 Liù’s grandfather (aged 70) took over the estate having been a food merchant. He was from Montefalco and at that time, post-war, land was cheap. Liù studied winemaking in Bordeaux in 2006. She worked in one of the late Denis Dubourdieu’s wineries.
The name: The estate dates from 1884 and nearby there was a ‘sciacciadiavoli’, an exorcist or ‘devil chaser’, a priest who used wine to chase the devil away.
Vineyards: 35 hectares in a single spot with pre-1990s vineyards, and post-1990s vineyards. Clay-rich soil. There are 12 hectares of Sagrantino. The oldest vineyards are grown using the ‘Palmetto Umbra’ or ‘Umbrian small palm’ system (aka the Geneva Double Curtain) which is good for grapes destined for passito. The vines are caned pruned (guyot system), but with two horizontal canes each side producing 25 bunches per plant, but as the bunches are loose this minimise the risk of grey rot. The other pruning system is spurred codon (‘cordone speronato’). The older vines are mass selection rather than clones.
Winemaking: Staggered picking for the sparkling wine (end of August), then for the ‘passito’ (so the grapes can be dried) in mid-September, then the Sagrantino di Montefalco (October). Wooden vats and barrels were all sourced from Bordeaux.
Spumante Brut: 85% Sagrantino (picked early, around veraison, quick and soft pressing), 15% Chardonnay. The base wine is fermented. This is then bottled in spring with sugar and yeast. This is disgorged after 7 years. Around 14% alcohol. Full-bodied. Good with salt cod (‘baccala’) of dried cod (‘stoccafisso’), for which the family has had an import business for generations (importing from Iceland and Norway). Liù’s brother and sister run this enterprise.
Spumante Brut Rosé: 100% Sagrantino. The grapes are not fully mature when picked, hence the maceration time is 6 hours.
Montefalco Bianco DOC: 50% Trebbiano Spoletino (a local variety, not from the Trebbiano family, the ‘Riesling of Umbria’, herbal), 30% Grechetto, 20% Chardonnay.
Montefalco Bianco DOC, Grechetto: 100% Grechetto. A fresh, fruity white aged in stainless steel. No skin contact.
Rosso dell’Umbria | Sangiovese, Merlot.
Montefalco Rosso DOC: Their biggest production wine (cash flow). / 2013 60% Sangiovese, 25% Merlot, 15% Sagrantino. 13.5%. All fermented separately in steel. Not too many pump overs. Aged in tonneaux, botti, and barrel for 12m. Quite tannic, bit simple, some balsam/spice with ‘soft’ tannins = a good vintage to drink young perhaps at Collisioni, Barolo 16th July 2017. / 2016 12m in oak. Lovely bright red fruit with oak, needs 12 months more to settle I think when tasted at the Montefalco anteprima 18 Feb 2019.
Montefalco Sagrantino DOCG: Fermented in 100hl oak vats = help fix colour, get tannin earlier in the fermentation rather than later on when the tannins are harder. | 2011 100% Sagrantino. Aged 24m in wood (small percentage of new oak). Warm, dry year. Nice balsam again, bit tannic, but still sweet fruit at Collisioni, Barolo 16th July 2017. / 2015 100% Sagrantino. 60 days on skins. Deep, very nice fruit, well focussed when tasted at the Montefalco anteprima 18 Feb 2019. / 2017 Only 22 days on skins (around 30 days is average). Big tannins, dry summer, healthy fruit in 2017).
Montefalco Sagrantino Passito DOCG: Picked early autumn to avoid too high a sugar level in the grapes as the bunches are destined to dehydrate by being laid on grills covered by straw mats in drying room. The grapes dehydrate for 2 to 3 months (until December). | 2011 100% Sagrantino. 24 months in new oak.
Grappa di Sagrantino: Made at a local distillery. 40% vol.
Azienda Agraria Scacciadiavoli di Pambuffetti
Località Cantinone, 31
I-06036 Montefalco (PG), Italy
Tel+39 0742 378272 | www.scacciadiavoli.it