Società Agricola Segretum is a remarkably charming small estate in the heart of the Umbrian countryside along the Tiber River Valley. Ready to leave behind their city life, Lorenzo de Monaco and Eileen Holland found this 'secret' spot (La Segreta) in 2009 and purchased about 30 hectares of land that would be planted with just over 5 hectares of indigenous grapes, as well as olive groves and a lovely agriturismo. A sincere respect for the land means everything is done by hand, with extreme dedication to the local traditions, and all of the crops that they harvest are certified organic to give extra regimen to their practices. At around 300 meters above sea level, the perfect Mediterranean climate suits their southwest-facing slope of vines perfectly for around 12,000 bottles annually, made mainly from the esteemed Sangiovese grape.
agri segretum 'cinino'
sangiovese, malvasia nera
The Cinino is a method ancestrale style bubbly, or ‘pet-nat,’ that comes from Agri Segretum's most prevalent Sangiovese grape, and some of Malvasia Nera. A very gentle press is then given to the de-stemmed fruit to give just a touch of color to the wine, and a spontaneous fermentation begins after a couple of days in stainless steel tanks. After lowering temperatures, fermentation halts at around 7˚C and at about 16-18 g/l of residual sugar. The wine is hand bottled and closed with a crown cap and stored at 20˚C, so that the left over yeasts can continue eating away at the sugars. The continuing fermentation is locked in the bottle, and the output of CO2 has nowhere to go, thus creating a sparkle in the wine. The result is everything good in sparkling pink wine: fresh and bright fruit, vivacious mouth-feel, and enjoyable drinking for any occasion
agri segretum 'marmocchio'
sangiovese & sagrantino
The Marmocchio is the single wine from La Segreta that utilizes the estate’s local Umbrian grape variety, Sagrantino. 15% of this Sangiovese blend is made up from this wonderfully complex and rustic grape, and gives so much added structure and style to the wine. The two varieties reach full maturation at different times from each other, so the grapes are hand harvested separately, and begin natural fermentation in stainless steel tanks on their own. During this time, Follatura (punch-downs) is carried out twice daily to work with the oxygen in the fermenting juice, and to extract wonderful color and phenols from the grapes. The two wines are aged in mostly 500L French Tonneau for malolactic conversion (there are some 225L barrels as well that primarily are used for the Sagrantino), and a 15-month aging period before blending, and bottling with no filtration. After 15 more months in bottle, the wine is ready for release, and is a remarkable display of the local Umbrian terroir. Full-bodied in structure, with ripe yet very integrated tannins, the ‘Marmocchio’ is one to open up in a decanter or age for several years to come. There is a dark berry fruit and depth of earthy tones from the Sagrantino that plays well with the high acidity of the Sangiovese, and all leads to an incredibly long and complex finish.
agri segretum 'freghino'
sangiovese, malvasia nera, colorino
The Freghino is Segretum's ‘largest’ production wine, at just over 7,000 bottles made. The blend which comes from their organic estate vines is 92% Sangiovese, 4% Malvasia Nera, and 4% Colorino, and after being hand-harvested, is brought into the cellar for a natural fermentation in stainless steel tanks. The wine rests and ages for about 9 months in used French oak, and is then placed back into stainless steel to integrate a bit further without the presence of wood for 6 more months. Once bottled, without any filtration, the wine rests for some time before Lorenzo puts it to market. The result is magnificent, with a fantastic mouth feel and soft approach. Dynamic fresh berry fruit is supported with easy tannins and fresh acidity, and is complimented with a touch of fresh earth as well, all leading to a driven and lifted finish.
agri segretum 'cru HTH'
The cru HTH comes from a selection of the best fruit on a single hectare of 100% Sagrantino that grows on the estate. On exceptional vintages, when the balance is right and the yields can allow it, Lorenzo makes this mono-varietal wine as his top bottling at the property. 2012 was the first vintage for cru HTH, and only one new 500-liter Tonneau was filled after the must naturally fermented in a small stainless steel tank. After 2 years of aging in wood, the wine was bottled un-fined and unfiltered, and rested for many years until it was deemed as ready. In late 2019, the 722 bottles that were made, were released to market as not only a rare wine from Agri Segretum, but as an exceptional display of the estate’s Sagrantino fruit. Bold and brooding on the nose, loaded with dark brambly fruit, and an earthy grip that is almost palpable, this red unfolds onto the palate with intensity, yet balance and elegance. Full of great acidity, chewy tannins, and endless black fruit, this wine will stand the test of time for many years to come.
agri segretum 'pottarello'
sangiovese, malvasia nera, colorino
The Pottarello comes from the predominant mix of local grapes at the farm, which is 80% Sangiovese, 10% Malvasia Nera, and 10% Colorino. The Sangiovese is particularly selected from a portion of the estate’s vines where the clusters are thinner and have much smaller berries, and lead to a bit more extraction of color and intensity of flavor for the final wine. The grapes are handpicked and brought to the cellar for a natural fermentation in stainless steel, where follatura (punch-downs) occurs regularly. After primary fermentation completes, the wine is transferred to mostly all used 500L French Tonneau for 12-months where it ages before an unfiltered bottling. Another 9 months rest in bottle before release gives the final wine extra time to integrate and come together for a gorgeously structured red. The finished wine showcases lovely fresh berry fruit, touches of spice, a lively dance between acid and tannin, and a long balanced finish for this full-bodied Umbrian red.