Cellar Signae Cesarini Sartori – A Review

by artfuldiner on February 16, 2023

in Artful Diner Mini Review, Breaking News, Opinion, Wine

Cellar Signae Cesarini Sartori - WinerySIGNAE, aka Cesarini Sartori Winery, is a family-run estate located in the landlocked Umbria region of central Italy, just north of the historic village of Assisi, the birthplace of St. Francis. The winery focuses on crafting organic wines, specializing in Sagrantino, a low-yielding red wine grape that is indigenous to the region. Luciano, the head of the Cesarini family is passionate about the health properties of Sagrantino – which was recently noted to contain some of the highest polyphenol (antioxidants) levels of any red wine – and his daughter, Alice, is working to promote this important varietal, which is still little known outside the region or Italy.

The origins of Sagrantino are both unclear and poorly documented. However, the first written record of it occurred in Umbria in the late 16th century as a communion wine. The name itself is also of uncertain origin, possibly from sagra (feast) or sacrestia (communion wine). Historically, Sagrantino was used primarily for making sweet passito wines, partially drying the grapes to yield a thick syrupy wine. Since the 1970s, however, the wines have been made primarily in the dry secco style. The Sagrantino grape has one of the highest tannic levels of any variety in the world. Its wines contain more tannin than those from Aglianico or Tannat, and twice the level of Cabernet Sauvignon or Nebbiolo wines. The grape creates wines that are dark, brooding with earthy, cinnamon accents.

Cellar Signae Cesarini Sartori Rossobastardo 2019The wine I tasted recently, however, Signae Rossobastardo 2019, is a good deal less lethal on the palate than you might imagine. That’s because the Sagrantino is blended with a smooth combo of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Sangiovese. Produced from grapes grown in the territory of the municipality of Gualdo Cattaneo, it is a cooperative combination of modern technology and traditional winemaking and Umbrian wine culture. The wine was such a success that Luciano Cesarini named the wine after his birthplace.

This highly rated wine is rich ruby red in color with intense aromas of ripe black fruit and black pepper. On the palate it is medium bodied, nicely balanced, and downright sensual… But the best part about this little beauty is the price: $9.99 at your local Pennsylvania State Store. If you’re a red wine lover, trust me, you’ve just found your perfect “everyday” food-friendly wine. Great to accompany a meal or standing on its own. An incredible bargain!


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