Vermentino Solosole, Poggio al Tesoro 2013 is no longer available

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Vermentino Solosole, Poggio al Tesoro 2013

White Wine from Italy - Central Italy -Tuscany, Umbria
A great find from Tuscany and a stunning example of the vermentino grape with its floral and fruity perfume of white flowers, apricot and tropical fruits. The vines grow in Bolgheri, on south-western slopes. The sparkling Tyrrhenian sea is nearby, and prestigious neighbours include Ornellaia. From such an idyllic location comes a full, yet fresh white with plenty of zip, the perfect foil for spicy Thai dishes.
is no longer available
Code: IT19931

Wine characteristics

  • White Wine
  • 2 - Dry
  • Vermentino
  • 14.5% Alcohol
  • No oak influence
  • Cork, natural

Central Italy

The large Central Italy region embraces Emilia-Romagna, Tuscany, Umbria, Marche, Abruzzo and Molise and Lazio. Geographically Central Italy is split by the imposing Apennine mountain range that runs the length of the centre of Italy like a slightly curved spine dividing, for example, Tuscany and Umbria from Emilia-Romagna and Le Marche. While there is the usual diversity of grape varieties when you drill down in to the vineyards of these regions, one grape variety dominates – sangiovese, whether it stands alone or is blended.

At the heart of Tuscany is Chianti, spreading from north of Florence to south of Siena. Rolling green forested hills of captivating beauty characterise much of the Chianti area with vineyards sometimes planted at over 500 metres. The wines are dominated by the sangiovese grape supported by canaiolo, colorino, mammolo and ciliegiolo of the traditional varieties of the region but with the additional weight and structure of cabernet sauvignon, syrah and merlot...
The large Central Italy region embraces Emilia-Romagna, Tuscany, Umbria, Marche, Abruzzo and Molise and Lazio. Geographically Central Italy is split by the imposing Apennine mountain range that runs the length of the centre of Italy like a slightly curved spine dividing, for example, Tuscany and Umbria from Emilia-Romagna and Le Marche. While there is the usual diversity of grape varieties when you drill down in to the vineyards of these regions, one grape variety dominates – sangiovese, whether it stands alone or is blended.

At the heart of Tuscany is Chianti, spreading from north of Florence to south of Siena. Rolling green forested hills of captivating beauty characterise much of the Chianti area with vineyards sometimes planted at over 500 metres. The wines are dominated by the sangiovese grape supported by canaiolo, colorino, mammolo and ciliegiolo of the traditional varieties of the region but with the additional weight and structure of cabernet sauvignon, syrah and merlot which are now permitted.

Other great wines from Tuscany are Brunello di Montalcino (‘brunello’ being a very localised clone of sangiovese, and the only permitted grape), Vino Nobile di Montepulciano (from the town of Montepulciano and nothing to do with the montepulciano grape; Vino Nobile is again made from sangiovese) and the so-called Supertuscan blends of several grape varieties, some of which are not permitted under DOC rules in areas such as Brunello. The most famous of these Supertuscans are Sassicaia and Ornellaia, both of which are essentially Bordeaux -style blends from Bolgheri close to the Tuscan coast in the west. The region, partly with the impetus of these regulation bucking blends, has been a driving force in improving quality in the region and consequently across Italy.

Umbria to the south of Tuscany has developed an impressive reputation for its wines, such as the aromatic, tannic but delicious sagrantino from vineyards around Montefalco. Here too sangiovese is widely grown, making impressive Torgiano and blends together with varieties like merlot and cabernet. Higher ground in the north is cooler than the southern zone. Orvieto lies almost between the two in the west of Umbria. The wines of Orvieto are beginning to find their feet once more after decades of underperformance now that many growers are focussing on the grechetto grape that had once been ubiquitous but which had been pushed aside by the higher cropping but far less interesting procanico (aka trebbiano Toscano).

Lazio is the region around Rome which is struggling to creep out from the shadow of the dull wines that historically fed the thirst of a ready market in the Eternal City. Basically, there was too little incentive to change. Now there are a number of producers working hard to make Frascati of real character by improving their clones and their methods and by lowering yields.

Across the Apennines from Umbria is Le Marche with its mountainous national parks and sunny Adriatic coast. The best white wines are the two verdicchios, dei Castelli di Jesi and di Matelica, with the latter making the more characterful examples from its higher altitudes. Pecorino grapes from zones to the south produce fruity, interesting white wines with real potential to rival the best verdicchio. Reds are improving all the time, including Rosso Piceno (sangiovese with montepulciano) and Rosso Conero (montepulciano).

North of Le Marche is the region around foodie Bologna, Emilia-Romagna. Home to Parmesan cheese, Parma ham and balsamic vinegar, the region has not developed a similarly impressive canon of wines to rival its reputation for fine foods. Much is unimpressive but the best sangiovese di Romagna from south-east of Bologna can be excellent, and as with elsewhere in Italy there are a growing number of growers and winemakers intent on improvement. The wine best known to British consumers is Lambrusco. Sadly the association many will have is with sweetened characterless froth from the 1970s and 1980s but the Lambrusco drunk by the Bolognese is very different and we are starting to see its appetising acidity and bracing bite, designed to accompany the salty hams, tangy cheeses and rich meat sauces of its home region, reach the UK.

As with Le Marche the vineyards of Abruzzo are squeezed between the great mass of the Apennines and the Adriatic, and the mountains have influenced the character of the Abruzzese and their food. To match their hearty dishes they drink montepulciano d’Abruzzo, invariably gutsy and full of lively red fruits and a Society wine of many years standing. Rosés such as Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo are also becoming increasingly well known for their value and constantly improving quality when growers lower yields and winemakers take them seriously. Further south is the little known Molise region where montepulciano, aglianico and trebbiano grapes make characterful, rustic reds and whites. The Biferno DOC was created in the 1980s and there are producers here who are making some very promising examples.
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Allegrini

Wine has been made at the Italian estate of Allegrini in Fumane di Valpolicella, not far from Lake Garda, since the 16th century. A census from around this time shows the family was a major landowner with considerable local influence. Fast-forwarding to the 20th century, the late Giovanni Allegrini became the driving force of the company. Having begun work in the family vineyards at an early age, he set about updating the vineyard and winery practices he had questioned as a youth.

Giovanni not only laid the foundations for the strong family business, developing markets in Italy and abroad, but also worked to gain recognition for the crus of Valpolicella D.O.C, acquiring a vineyard on the hill of La Grola, overlooking Lake Garda for the very purpose. Giovanni, who died prematurely in 1983, did not live long enough to see the vineyard replanted, and his children literally brought the project to fruition.

All Allegrini wines are produced from estate-grown fruit, harvested from the family’s 70 hectares of vines. With quality firmly under their control, the Allegrinis are famously anti-establishment when it comes to local DOC regulations, many of which they feel to be outdated and counterproductive. The basic Valpolicella is bottled under screwcap to retain maximum freshness, waiving the right to the Classico designation in the process. Premium bottlings are simply sold as vino da tavola because of their non-conformist blends, but their quality here is infinitely superior to...
Wine has been made at the Italian estate of Allegrini in Fumane di Valpolicella, not far from Lake Garda, since the 16th century. A census from around this time shows the family was a major landowner with considerable local influence. Fast-forwarding to the 20th century, the late Giovanni Allegrini became the driving force of the company. Having begun work in the family vineyards at an early age, he set about updating the vineyard and winery practices he had questioned as a youth.

Giovanni not only laid the foundations for the strong family business, developing markets in Italy and abroad, but also worked to gain recognition for the crus of Valpolicella D.O.C, acquiring a vineyard on the hill of La Grola, overlooking Lake Garda for the very purpose. Giovanni, who died prematurely in 1983, did not live long enough to see the vineyard replanted, and his children literally brought the project to fruition.

All Allegrini wines are produced from estate-grown fruit, harvested from the family’s 70 hectares of vines. With quality firmly under their control, the Allegrinis are famously anti-establishment when it comes to local DOC regulations, many of which they feel to be outdated and counterproductive. The basic Valpolicella is bottled under screwcap to retain maximum freshness, waiving the right to the Classico designation in the process. Premium bottlings are simply sold as vino da tavola because of their non-conformist blends, but their quality here is infinitely superior to that of generic Valpolicella. La Poja, one of Valpolicella’s most profound and rich wines, originates from the highest pointof the La Grola vineyard and is made exclusively from corvina, Valpolicella’s defining grape variety. La Grola itself is a blend principally of corvina and rondinella with syrah and sangiovese, aged in French oak. It has the haunting perfume of bitter cherries and raspberries characteristic of top-quality Valpolicella.

Giovanni’s winemaker son, Franco is a specialist in Amarone, a unique local speciality made from super-ripe bunches left to dry to concentrate flavour before pressing in January following the harvest. His sister Marilisa, a familiar face at Society tastings, has been responsible for driving forward the development of vineyards. Some more have recently been bought in Bolgheri in Tuscany at Poggio al Tesoro where they make delicious white vermentino and a fragrant red called Mediterra made from cabernet, merlot and syrah.
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Italy Vintage 2013

Northern Italy performed very well in a vintage that was difficult for many other areas. In Piedmont the cooler temperatures led to a long, slow ripening period that accumulated flavour and fragrance in the fruit. Clear, dry weather at harvest was very welcome and led to the harvesting of high-quality fruit. The expectation is for wines of depth, concentration and aromatic intensity that will keep. In Tuscany too growers enjoyed a long, slow maturation period after cool spring weather and a nippy August. Ripe and balanced wines that should age gracefully are the result.

2013 vintage reviews

GQ

A brilliant andbenchmark dry Vermentino - Tuscany's flagship white grape. The aroma is packedwith fresh herbs and flowers while in the mouth it's crunchy-fresh with greenapples and a sour...
A brilliant andbenchmark dry Vermentino - Tuscany's flagship white grape. The aroma is packedwith fresh herbs and flowers while in the mouth it's crunchy-fresh with greenapples and a sour grapefruit tang. Try it with pan-fried white fish or a Thaigreen curry.
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- Jane Parkinson

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