Il Palagio estate has been owned by Sting and producer and actor, Trudie Styler after finding it in a state of decline in 1999. Not only is this is their summer home, it is a productive farm estate that produces not only this wine but also olive oil, honey and other produce. Of course, the produce is only part of the attraction of the estate.
The Villa Il Palagio itself sits atop one of the steep slopes overlooking the famously rolling Tuscan hills. When Trudie and Sting are not in residence, you can rent it for yourself complete with personal chefs. If you don’t require nine bedrooms, there are more than few other guesthouses on the estate. Either way, you can always stay and enjoy that Tuscan ambiance that so attracted them.
Vineyards and wine have been part of the fabric of Il Palagio since the 1500s. The estate, just to the south east of Florence, sits within the border of the famous Italian red wine region of Chianti. Sting and Trudie started replanting the vineyards in 2000. The wines made on the estate are certified organic and carry the vino biologico symbol.
Amongst the wines offered under the Il Palagio label are wines named for Sting’s songs. First on the playlist is Message in a Bottle. These are modern wines that include French varieties in their blends. The Bianco is a Vermentino, Sauvignon and Trebbiano and the Rosso has generous additions of Syrah and Merlot to the more typical Sangiovese. There is a Spumante version as well which is a Vermentino base blended with Chardonnay.
Then there is a fruit driven Chianti DOCG, When We Dance, and a blend where Sangiovese is joined by companions Merlot and Cabernet in a lush blend, Sister Moon.
The newly released Roxanne wines are 100% Vermentino and 90% Sangiovese and 10% Cabernet. These join another newcomer, a crisp rosato named after Beppe!, their now retired vineyard manager.
Three to try….
While I have not tasted all the range, here is a selection….
Il Palagio Beppe! Rosato IGT 2018 – a dry, very pale pink sangiovese dominant rosato, bouncing with salmon highlights. The tensile acid is also very crisp with a little sizzle and a light grip that calms with a bite to eat. The fresh cherry berry fruit has a floral lilt and spicy accent that comes from some lees contact. €15 | UK£11
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Il Palagio When We Dance Chianti DOCG – a traditional blend of Sangiovese, Canaiolo and Colorino that has been made and matured in stainless steel and then a short sojourn in bottle to maintain the freshness of the fruit. It is a bright, fuller bodied red that is immediately drinkable. The juicy cherry cola fruit has a spicy nuance and soft tannins. A wine that goes down easily, particularly with a plate of cheese and cured meat. €17 | UK£13
Il Palagio Sister Moon IGT – this wine is a rather lush blend of a Tuscan classic grape, Sangiovese (40%) with some French companions Merlot (30%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (30%). Ripe, juicy cherry fruit has a light floral prettiness and a sweet spiciness. After an extended period, up to 24 months, in French oak, the wine takes on a warm toasted embellishment. A plush mouthful that is a good choice for food. €44 | UK£36
Visit Il Palagio for more information. If you are in the UK, you can order from the winery’s site.