2013 Allegrini “Pallazo Della Torre” IGT, Verona, Italy (14% Alcohol) LCBO Vintages $24.95
Seeing as I’m usually recommending examples from the lighter side of red wines, I’m often asked to suggest a few bottles for those who prefer something a little on the heavier side, wines with a little more meat on their bones. With this in mind I bring you the Allegrini Palazzo della Torre IGT.
We are looking at an assemblage of Corvina and Rondinella (traditional) as well as 5% Sangiovese (not quite so traditional for this region, but still allowed in Valpolicella wines). As is the norm for this part of Italy these grapes were partially desiccated for around nine weeks before fermentation, hence the wine’s substantial weight, richness, viscosity, and 14% alcohol. While balanced, it still ticks all the boxes for those looking for a weightier wine (with 7g of residual sugar), and at a fraction of the cost of many others in the market.
On the nose this wine offers the usual raisined dark fruits (blackcurrant to the extreme as well as pronounced blueberry) coupled with distinctive notes of coffee, dark chocolate, violets, and cloves, as well as whiff of iodine. Whilst undeniably present (see my notes on decanting below), the tannins are all extremely ripe, with even the Sangiovese’s trademark astringency being somewhat reined in by some crafty tannin management. Saying that, I’ve spoken to some others who found this wine’s tannin profile a little too aggressive for their tastes. I’m wondering if perhaps we had been tasting different vintages, as the 2013 I tasted didn’t give me any cause for complaint.
Whilst not a particularly complex wine, it should satisfy those looking for a bigger wine on a budget. I found that to get most out of this wine (particularly if a tannic bite gives you a scare) it’s better if you decant it around two or three hours before serving. Just be sure to like a lot of blackcurrant in the glass, and pair with heavier braised meat dishes, particularly those with lots of earthy mushrooms… just the thing at this time of year. Alternatively, it also pairs well with aged Parmesan Reggiano or Monte Veronse cheese, and more flavourful aged ham.
(Three and a half apples out of a possible five)
Edinburgh-born/Toronto-based Sommelier, consultant, writer, judge, and educator Jamie Drummond is the Director of Programs/Editor of Good Food Revolution… And he feels that this delivers well for the money.