On September 24, 2015 Esquin Wine and Spirits hosted a tasting event featuring the wines from the Allegrini family. Giovanni Nencini, Managing Director for Lux Wines was on hand to present 4 wines from Allegrini and 2 wines from Poggio Al Tesoro.
First off lets just say that in Italy you never taste wine without food on hand. Here’s a look at what we had to nibble on as we tasted through the wines.
Allegrini is a family owned estate located in the north east area of Italy in the Veneto region. They grow 100 % of their grapes from vineyards located in the Classico Region of the Valpollicella wine growing area within the Veneto. The family has been around since the 16th century so they have perfected their winemaking style. They are the 5th most awarded winery for the coveted Gambero Rosso awards. Below are the wines we tasted during the evening.
The blend of grapes in this wine consists of 70% Corvina, 25% Rondinella, and 5% Sangiovese. This Valpolicella aims to capture the bright cherry aromas and flavors. It’s a light, dry wine which is best served slightly chilled. I could drink this wine every day. The increased acid in the wine makes it easy to pair with a variety of foods. I would serve this wine with shellfish, fish, mushroom dishes and chicken. At $14 a bottle it’s well worth every penny.
Palazzo Della Torre 2010
This is a blend of 70% Corvina, 25 % Rondinella, and 5% Sangiovese. The grapes all come from one vineyard called Palazzo Della Torre. The vines here were planted between 1962 and 1989. The wine is made in the ripasso style but Allegrini does not use the traditional ripasso method. Giovanni states that the traditional ripasso method is like “drinking a second cup of tea made with the same teabag as the end result is the second cup is bitter.” 30% of the grapes used for this wine are dried. The dried grapes are pressed in December. In January the wine from the dried grapes is blended in with the rest of the wine (wine which was made after harvest). The blend then undergoes a second fermentation. This technique results in a rich, full bodied wine full of black cherry and mocha flavors. It would go well with most pasta dishes and grilled meats. Palazzo Della Torre has been extremely popular in the market. It is the most awarded wine under $25 and has also been in the Wine Spectator Top 100 six times. It’s a gem! At $19.99 a bottle it’s a great quality to value ratio.
La Grola 2011
La Grola is a 2000 year old vineyard located in the town of Sant’Ambrogio. The vineyard overlooks Lake Garda. The vines planted are Corvina and Syrah and the average age of the vines is 25 years. The chalk content of this vineyard is high which results in the true articulation of terroir which is why it has been called the “CRU” of Valpolicella.
La Grola 2011 is a blend of 80% Corvina, 10% Syrah, and 10% Oseleta. Oseleta has the same purpose as Petit Verdot in a Bordeaux blend as it serves to pump up the core of the wine. The nose is complex with aromas of red fruit, strawberry, black cherry, sweet and savory spices and coffee. It’s definitely a mouthful of berry fruit but its soft and smooth on the palate. This wine could use some time and should age well for up to 10 years. 10,000 cases were produced and only 400 of those made it in to the USA. For $29.99 you get fantastic quality in this bottle! I’d pair this wine with mushrooms, steak, or lamb.
When I think of Allegrini I think of Amarone. Perhaps that is because they have won 30 Tre Bicchieri awards for their Amarones. This 2010 was again given a Tre Biccheri award, and rated 3 stars by Gambero Rosso. It also scored very highly with Wine Enthusiast (95), Wine Spectator (93) and Wine Advocate (92). It’s made with 100% dried grapes which are pressed in December after the harvest. The wine is fermented in stainless steel tanks for 25 days, then aged 18 months in oak before being blended together for another 7 months. The nose is incredibly intense with aromas of vanilla, baking spices, black plums, black cherry, and mocha. On the palate it’s all black cherry, and black plum with big velvety tannins, and a smooth , long finish. It’s a huge wine! Put this one away for a while as it can last up to 20 years. The retail price on this wine is $80.
Poggio al Tesoro
In 2001 Marilisa and Walter Allegrini started a winery in Tuscany in the wine region of Bolgheri. Located near the coast, Bolgheri is known for growing international varieties. The Allegrini family grows Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Syrah, Vermentino, and Viognier in their estate vineyards for Poggio Al Tesoro.Solosole 2014
Solosole means “just sunshine” and that’s exactly what you get in the glass when you sip on this wine made from 100% Vermentino grapes. A great deal of care went into selecting the Vermentino clones used for the vines. Poggio Al Tesoro chose to use Corsican clones which are less vigorous and yield grapes that will maintain their acidity as they ripen. The resulting wine was very floral with aromas of melon and white peach. A very refreshing but medium bodied wine. Due to the use of the Corsican clones the wine can age. It will become oily and taste of petroleum just like an aged Riesling would. This would pair well with any kind of fish which is perfect given that Bolgheri is located on the coast. Retail price on the wine is $21.99
Sondraia 2011 was composed of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc. The wine was aged 18 months in 50% new oak and 50% second year oak. Imagine a Bordeaux blend that tastes halfway between what you can achieve between California and Bordeaux harmony. Red fruits, dark cherry, mocha, licorice and baking spice dominate the nose. The tannins were silky and wine was extremely elegant. I’d pair this with strong cheeses, grilled meat, or Ossobucco. $49.99 is a great price for this gorgeous Bordeaux blend.
Giovanni Nencini did a great job of showcasing the wines made by the Allegrini family. The wines of Allegrini and Poggio al Tesoro offer high quality wines that truly exhibit the characteristics of the grape varietal and the terroir.