Sondraia Costa Toscana Bianco 2020 – Poggio Al Tesoro.
Poggio Al Tesoro is known for its flagship wine and Super Tuscan named Sondraia. This red star of the estate grows in Al Tesoro’s like named vineyard and is one of the best Bolgheri Super Tuscans produced. Since the 2019 vintage however this red ruby has a golden sister, made from 100% Viognier, grown in the same illustrious vineyard ‘Le Sondraia’.
In this review you will learn more about this beautiful monocepage, produced by Poggio Al Tesoro.
About the Winemaking and Vintage
From the illustrious vineyards of Le Sondraie, Poggio Al Tesoro presents their Viognier offering—a breathtaking testament to both the varietal and the region: the Sondraia Costa Toscana Bianco 2020.
The first thing that strikes you about this Viognier is its impeccable balance, a symphony of broadness and intensity. It’s immediately clear that this wine stands as a testament to meticulous viticultural practices and inventive winemaking techniques. The grape, shining in its singular glory—100% Viognier—, has been nurtured under the gentle Tuscan sun and shaped by a mix of both traditional and modern methods.
Harking back to ancient winemaking traditions, the terracotta amphorae lend this wine an invigorating freshness and a sense of verticality, paying homage to Tuscany’s deep-rooted wine history. In contrast, the French oak barrels bestow a structured depth, enhancing the innate complexities of the Viognier grape. The use of modern steel vats completes the triad, ensuring that the varietal aromas remain undistorted and true.
The 2020 vintage owes its success, in part, to the serendipitous weather conditions of Bolgheri. The well-timed rains and the diurnal temperature variations of September paved the way for a uniform flowering, impeccable fruit set, and, ultimately, an exceptional harvest. These climatic gifts, combined with a vigilant manual night harvest, have ensured that the grapes reached the winery in pristine condition.
What is particularly intriguing about the Sondraia Bianco is its vinification. The soft pressing of cooled grapes followed by a skin maceration at controlled temperatures captures the essence of the fruit. The ensuing fermentation, split between steel vats, amphorae, and oak barrels, hints at a dance between tradition and innovation—a ballet that the wine plays out on the palate. The decision to forgo malolactic fermentation preserves the wine’s acidity, making each sip a refreshing embrace.
The aging process, segmented across French oak, amphora, and stainless steel, further illustrates the winemaker’s vision for this Viognier. With bâtonnage on fine lees, the wine gathers complexity and texture. This triumvirate of aging mediums converges in stainless steel tanks, ensuring harmonization before a final rest in the bottle.
About the Wine
Before a sip is even taken, the wine enchants with its radiant golden yellow hue, promising a symphonic journey through Tuscany’s finest grape expressions.
As the aromas rise from the glass, the opening act is a floral serenade, soft petals and fragrant blooms that whisper the secrets of the Tuscan sun. But as the wine breathes, it crescendos into a lively medley of citrus delights – freshly peeled orange zest and aromatic essential oils that invigorate the senses. The resultant aroma is an evocative dance, where the fragility of blooms is enlivened by the zest of citrus orchards.
On sipping, the wine unfolds its narrative. The palate is introduced to a luxurious tapestry of texture, woven intricately from the threads of sweet tannins, which, while palpable, never dominate. This velvety expanse is enlivened by a vivacious acidity – a balancing act that ensures the wine’s richness never overshadows its spirit. Each sip reveals the duality of the Viognier – opulent yet refreshing.
The finale of this tasting experience is nothing short of poetic. The wine departs with a lingering embrace, both graceful and tenacious, leaving behind a saccharine memory that beckons for another taste. This persistence on the palate is the wine’s final ode to the elegance of the Viognier grape.
In essence, the ‘Sondraia Bianco’ is a testament to winemaking artistry. It harmoniously marries the roundness and intensity inherent in the grape, offering a tasting experience that both caresses and invigorates the senses. It is not just a wine, but a story – one of Tuscan sun, skilled craftsmanship, and the timeless allure of the Viognier grape. Every sip promises a journey of sophistication, making it an indispensable gem in the repertoire of wine connoisseurs.
We award this beautiful white star with a 93-point DWA score.
Tuscany, a Journey through Five Lenses
This review is part of our project “Tuscany, a Journey through Five Lenses”. In this project we travel through one of the most exciting parts of Italy and show its different faces interpreted through leading wineries. We do this through wine reviews, background articles and interviews.
The regions we discuss are Tuscany IGP, Chianti, Bolgheri, Montepulciano and Montalcino. Poggio Al Tesoro is our guide through the Bolgheri appellation.
Other wines by Poggio Al Tesoro in this project:
This wine is reviewed by our own Niels Aarts.
Taste date: August 2023
Score: 93/100 DWA Score
Website: Poggio Al Tesoro