The weather in Bolgheri during 2017 reflected the global change in the environment. During winter the weather was good, with very little rain and slightly lower than usual average temperatures that helped to combat insect infestations that can damage the vines. Spring was marked by early bud burst, while the frosts that hit various Italian regions did not adversely affect the vegetation. The summer picked up on the trend in spring, with sunny days and constant breezes. Early July was marked by relatively elevated humidity for the coastal area. The first significant rainfall occurred in mid-September, followed again by warm, bright days. The prolonged drought helped us combat both fungal and parasitic diseases. Irrigation management was more complex, coordinated with the help of mini weather stations equipped with sensors capable of detecting soil moisture and the release of vapour. But as always, human observation was invaluable: visual and manual monitoring of swelling in the leaves and grapes prompted timely interventions with exactly the right amount of water, enabling us to keep the grapes fresh and well-toned, and the leaf canopy actively engaged in photosynthesis.
65% Cabernet Sauvignon 25% Merlot 10% Cabernet Franc Aged for 22 months in 225 liters French oak barriques (70% new, 30% second use)
Marilisa Allegrini is the force behind one of the most dynamic and forward-thinking wineries along the Tuscan Coast. Poggio al Tesoro embraces alternative winemaking techniques such as amphorae and puts special effort into mapping in order to match the best grapes to terrain. Bolgheri is largely made of winemakers who come from other regions (Marilisa Allegrini is from Valpolicella), and these many "outsiders" have brought an exciting wave of innovation to these shores. The 2017 Bolgheri Superiore Sondraia is 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc with a relatively contained 15% alcohol content. The wine opens to an inky dark appearance with dried blackberry and plum and plenty of spice and smoke to flesh it out. Like other Bolgheri wines from this vintage, the tannins (both the fruit and the oak tannins, but mostly the fruit) are very powerful and tight. They add a point of stemmy bitterness to the close that makes me enjoy this vintage less than some of the others I have tasted. Some 45,000 bottles were made. Anticipated Maturity: 2021-2038