In the late 1990s, in the Tuscan hills south of Florence, the famed contemporary musician Sting and his wife Trudie Styler began the restoration of a sixteenth-century villa and its gardens, olive groves and vineyards. Careful nurturing of the vines over the last ten years with the help of viticulturist Alan York, who is recognized as one of the world’s pre-eminent biodynamic viticulturists, has yielded extraordinary grapes and the decision to release two wines. Paolo Caciogrna is the winemaker.
This wine is named after a property on the estate and when translated it means “little house by the roads”. Colloquially, this can also mean “the muddling of the ways” suggesting philosophical musings on the paths we all take in life. It is a blend of 75% Sangiovese, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot and Cabernet Franc
Musician Sting is the passion and pursestrings behind Il Palagio, a certified organic estate in Tuscany. The attention to detail, lower yields, dedicated winemaking and general ‘money no object’ sort of ideal has made this a serious wine producer in its own right, far and away from your Shane Warne wine label endeavours. This is made from traditional varieties sangiovese, colorino, canaiolo (et al) and is fermented in stainless steel before being transferred to old oak barrels for its life before bottling. Some oomph and generosity here, but acidity and tannin structure work a treat to set boundaries. It shows perfume of red cherries, pomegranate, white pepper, clove, rose petal and fennel. The palate suggests a similar set of characters, additionally some coffee ground notes and beef stock savouriness in the mix, though flavours are set within medium weight with concentrated fruit character. The wine offers a sheath of firm tannins rubbing the gums and generally drawing the wine long. Though there is density of flavour here the overall sense is of a wine of some elegance. Tasted: Jan 18; Alcohol: 13.5%; Price: $50; Closure: Diam; Drink: 2018-2030; Rated: 93+ Points; Mike Bennie; The Wine Front
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