Malcolm Jolley talks to Allegrini family representative Robin Shay…

A little while ago I noticed an interesting looking wine on offer from one of our Good Food Fighter sponsors, Profile Wine Group. It was for a ‘Toscana IGT’ wine, and at $21.99 within my price range. Upon further reading I gleaned it was from Montalcino, the land of Brunello, and from a producer I didn’t recognize at first but seemed familiar, San Polo.

I had participated in a few webinars hosted by the Montalcino Consortium this autumn, so I went to see if I had tasted a Brunello from San Polo in one of those sessions. Close: the 2017 San Polo Rosso di Montalcino was featured in the seminar on Rosso di Montalcino, the second wines of the region that are sometimes called ‘baby Brunello’. My notes indicated I enjoyed that wine very much, but they also revealed that the person who presented the wine was Robin Shay, which more or less sealed the deal and I bought a case.

Robin Shay is the export manager for the Allegrini Estates. The Allegrini name is most famously associated with their winery in Valpolicella, near Verona in the North of Italy, and with their matriarch and gran donna di vino, Marlisa Allegrini, who this year was awarded the high honour of Cavalieri del Lavoro for her services to Italian wine. The Allegrini family, who also have a winery in the Bolgheri region of coastal Tuscany have a well earned reputation for making excellent wine sold at reasonable prices. The San Polo Rubio Toscana IGT 2018 ($21.99 | Profile Wine Group) is very good example of this. It has a wonderful purity of dark cherry Sangiovese fruit that bleeds into some blackberry with an earthy finish, and a fine tannic structure that holds everything together. It’s fancier than an everyday wine, but approachable and affordable enough to make it a great Friday night treat.

I wanted to know more about the Rubio and San Polo, so I got in touch with Robin Shay. We got together on Zoom for the interview below, where we discuss the wine and, as we do these days, how COVID has affected the wine business.

Email versions of this post may not display video. Click here to see it at GFR.

The San Polo Rubio 2018 is available in Ontario through Profile Wine Group here.