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August 9, 2017 Comments (0) Views: 323 Good Wine Revolution

Three Rock Star Wines

Le Sommelier imports three of Sting and Trudie Styler’s Tuscan wines.

I was a huge fan of The Police growing up, and in fact, Sting’s “Dream of the Blue Turtles” tour was the first concert I ever went to, back in 1985. Despite all of this fanfare, I typically don’t gravitate towards wines made stars because, well frankly, they generally aren’t that great. This is where Il Palagio is different…
 
Sting and Trudie were on the April 2016 front cover of Wine Spectator magazine in recognition of their accomplishments with Il Palagio’s top wine, Sister Moon. Because of this, they were invited to present their wines at Opera Wine, Wine Spectator’s annual premium wine event in Verona. This is where I tasted the wines for the first time, and was blown away. Not only does the winery follow wine growing philosophies that are important to me like biodynamic farming, the wines were full of energy and really showed a sense of place.
 
When Sting and Trudie bought the 500 year-old, 350 hectare property in 1999, it had by then fallen into a state of disrepair. They have set about the task of meticulously restoring the house, the outbuildings, and the land to their former glory, with an aim to produce high quality wines. Sting and Trudie have spent every wedding anniversary here since 1999, and friends and family are always welcome.
 
Last year, I was invited to their annual party for their friends in wine, and we were all treated to a short acoustic concert, which I (along with everyone else) recorded. Try and guess which song Sting sang… why of course… Message in a Bottle!
 
The three wines wines we have available are:

When We Dance Chianti DOCG 2014 – $21.95 (12/cs)
This wine is a blend of predominantly Sangiovese with a splash of Canaiolo and Colorino, fermented in stainless steel. This is a good value and an excellent wine to enjoy with tomato based pizza and pastas, and light grilled fare.

“A fun and delicious red. Aromas of flowers and light spice with some dried fruits and green olives. Light body, firm tannins and a fresh finish. Easy and juicy. Nicely done for the vintage. Serve this slightly chilled. Made from organically grown grapes at the estate of singer-songwriter Sting. Drink now.” – 90 points (James Suckling, Nov 2016)
Casino delle Vie IGT Toscana 2014 – $38.95 (6/cs)
This wine is a blend of 90% Sangiovese with the rest Canaiolo, Colorino and a few other indigenous varietals, fermented in stainless steel, and then aged for 12 months in used barriques. Casino delle Vie is named after a property on the estate. Literally it means ‘little house by the roads’, but a more colloquial interpretation might be ‘the muddle of ways’, suggesting philosophical musings on the paths we take in life… after a few glasses of wine of course!
 
Casino delle Vie is a full-bodied, authentically Tuscan red wine with notes of sweet cherries, crushed flowers and liquorice. Down the down road, the winery may decide to sell this wine as a Chianti Reserva instead of an IGT Toscana, but then they would need to change the aging to at least 38 months, and of course that would completely change the wine. I really like the restrained oak as it really allows the fruit to shine. Enjoy with mushroom risotto and slightly charred, rib-eye.
 
Sister Moon IGT Toscana 2012 – $69.95 (6/cs)
Sister Moon is the flagship of the estate, a Super Tuscan (IGT) wine, named after Sting’s song Sister Moon. This is a rich and full-flavoured wine is a blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, aged for 18 months in French barriques, and then refined in bottle for 6 months prior to release. We were fortunate to get a small allocation of the spectacular 2012 vintage.
“Complex aromas of spice, chocolate, berry and hints of toasted oak. Some nuts. Some bacon and smoke. Full body, dense, tight and focused. Polished and very pretty. Very long and precise. Give it a few years still but already delicious. From organically grown grapes. Drink in 2020.” – 93 points (James Suckling, Nov 2016)
Prices listed above do not include HST, bottle deposit or delivery. Quantities are limited. Orders will be honoured on a first come, first served basis.
 
Sincerely,
Bernard Stramwasser
Le Sommelier
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