2011 Poggio al Tesoro Vermentino Solosole’

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Wine of the Week: 2011 Poggio al Tesoro Vermentino ‘Solosole’
Region: IGT Toscano, Italy
Price: $20

This week’s wine of the week – the 2011 Solosole Vermentino from Allegrini’s Poggio al Tesoro Estate in Tuscany brings Vermentino to a whole new level. Bursting with flavor it is absolutely delicious , beautifully structured and can age. 

Youthful, lemony straw in color with a a refined, yet expressive nose that displays a medley of stone fruit, citrus and floral notes as well as a very distinctive stony minerality and accents of dried herbs. On the palate this wine really comes into its own, bursting with juicy flavors that mirror the nose. The acidity is crisp and there is a nice creaminess on the mid-palate, which makes for a full, rounded mouthfeel. The flavors are focused and persistent, and the length is long and minerally.

At the table: Most Vermentino wine is light and easy drinking, but this Solosole has the weight and texture to work with a variety of dishes at the table. It is certainly crisp and refreshing enough to enjoy as an aperitif but I recommend serving it with with fish and seafood dishes. A particular favorite pairing is with pan-fried striped bass served with braised fennel. A heavenly combination.

About Allegrini, Poggio al Tesoro and the 2011 Solosole Vermentino: The Allegrini family has been a major player in the Valpolicello wine region (Veneto) since as far back as the 16th century. Today the Allegrini wine estates are  run by sister and brother team Marilisa and Franco Allegrini, with Marilisa handling all the business aspects and Franco in charge of winemaking.

Poggio al Tesoro is located in the prestigious Bolgheri area of Tuscany (which is south of Pisa in the upper part of Tuscany’s Maremma). The estate was established in 2001 by Marilisa Allegrini. As well as the Vermentino, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Syrah are also planted on the property.

Vermentino is an aromatic, crisp white grape variety that is grown in Italy, Southern France and on the islands of Corsica and Sardinia. It goes by different names depending where you are, such as Rolle in Southern France and Favorita in Piedmont. There are also a number of different clones. The clone planted at Poggio al Tesoro is actually the Corsican clone (and not the Tuscan clone as you would imagine). Allegrini is the only Tuscan Vermentino producer to have planted the Corsican clone. Marilisa Allegrini believes it makes wines that are firmer, more tightly structured and more age-worthy.

The name of the wine ‘Solosole’ translates as ‘only sun,’ refering to the sun’s significant influence on the wine. This 2011 Solosole Vermentino is 100% Corsican clone Vermentino. It was fermented in stainless steel and aged on its fine lees for about five months before bottling