Weekend Wine

Wine from the western part of Tuscany by the Tyrrhenian Sea

Poggio al Tesoro is relatively young as European wineries go. This Italian winery was created in 2002 and has grown to 170+ acres of prime Bolgheri vineyards.

Just in case your knowledge of Italian geography falls somewhat short of an officious sommelier, Bolgheri is in the western part of Tuscany close to the Tyrrhenian Sea. For years, wine aficionados thought the area was uninteresting, but that changed when Italian wine producer Tenuta San Guido created Sassicaia, a wine made with non-traditional “French” varietals. Suddenly, Bolgheri became famous for French varietal wines, especially Sassicaia and Ornellaia. These wines, along with neighboring Tignanello, came to be called “Super-Tuscan.” If you’d like to learn more about them, then gird up your saddle and be prepared to spend massive amounts of money. Tignanello is the least expensive at about $120 (as always, it’s cheaper on sale, but this wine seldom goes on sale). Sassicaia and Ornellaia both cost about $200. Ouch!

Winery owners Marilisa and Franco Allegrini (Photo Courtesy of the Winery)

So, instead of breaking the bank with these impressive reds, let’s pay attention to the white grape, Vermentino. This isn’t a particularly famous variety, but that’s best for those of us who like wines that come from the lower end of the price range. I am particularly fond of Poggio al Tesoro’s Solosole ($17), a luscious and fruity Vermentino with plenty of minerals to balance out the delightful aromas. Imagine a hint of peach aroma with small amounts of pineapple, raw almonds, and wet river rocks. We had the wine with a lovely Indian dish of rice with korma and paneer, but it would also go well with all Gulf seafood.

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