A wine named after the region where it is produced, Torgiano is probably the most well-known wine of the Umbrian area.
Before we get in to the Torgiano blend, I should note that although this is the most popular wine of the area, it is by far not the only wine produced in Torgiano. Similar to how the New World produces wine, Torgiano produces varietal wines named by their varietal name (Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, etc). These wines must be 85% of the varietal labeled in order to carry that varietal’s name on the bottle. But these wines tend to take a backseat to the major blend of the region, Torgiano, which has received much more acclaim.
Torgiano’s Red Wines
A far cry from the big, robust Sagrantinos of the same region, Torgiano red wines are much lighter. Torgiano has DOC status, and therefore, must follow strict regulations for blending: red wines from this region must be composed of 50-70% Sangiovese, 15-30% Canaiolo, 10 % Trebbiano, and 10% of Ciliegiolo and Montepulciano. Phew! That’s a lot of grapes, but hopefully, you are somewhat familiar with the major players in a Torgiano wine; if not, check out the Variety Focus on Sangiovese and Canaiolo to learn a bit more about these grapes and the flavors, aromas and structure that they add to blends.
Torgiano DOC Pairings
Because of the high level of Sangiovese in these wines, they are medium-bodied, have a beautiful, soft nose (sometimes with smoke and bright fruits), and present-yet-pleasing tannins. They are incredibly food-friendly: wines like Sagrantino of Umbria, or Cabernet Sauvignons of the Napa Valley, or the Shiraz of Australia are sometimes so big, SO overpowering that they make pairings a bit difficult. Such is not the case with Torgiano: the high acidity and medium body of these wines makes them perfect for pastas, tomato sauces, bruschetta, and herb-roasted chicken.
Torgiano Rosso Riserva DOCG
Torgiano also produces a Rosso Riserva, which since 1991 has had the elevated DOCG status (you may recall from the post on the Italian classification system that DOCG is a step up from DOC, and the requirements are stricter for wines to receive this designation). The DOCG Torgiano Rosso Riserva wines can use the same grapes listed above for the DOC Torgiano, but the percentages are slightly different: Trebbiano, Ciliegiolo and Montepulciano grapes cannot collectively make up more than 10% of the total blend, making the wine heavier with the percentages of Sangiovese and Canaiolo.
Torgiano DOCG Rosso Riserva Pairings
These wines are more concentrated, a bit more full-bodied, and stand up against game, heavier pastas, braised meats and stews. As with many Italian wines, high quality riserva ages quite well, and can be drunk for at least a decade.
Torgiano’s White Wines
Although second fiddle to the red wines of the region, Torgiano does produce white wines. The region’s white blends consist of 50-60% Trebbiano, 15-35% Grechetto, and 15% Malvasia and Verdello.
Torgiano White Wine Pairings
These wines are light, lively, citrusy and crisp, and are excellent with the region’s frittatas, lighter pasta dishes, and even artichokes, the one ingredient claimed to be “un-pairable”.