2019 Allegrini “Palazzo della Torre” Veronese IGT, Verona, Italy (Alcohol 13.5%, Residual Sugar 6 g/l) LCBO Vintages $24.95 (750ml bottle)

I think it would be fair to say that I taste a fair bit of wine, and that’s been the case for almost three decades in the wine business.

I find it simply fascinating to watch the ways in which wines can evolve over the years, and I’m not just talking about how they age in bottle, but also how a particular wine can change from vintage to vintage when it comes to the manner in which it is produced and the actual style of wine crafted by the winemaker.

Case in point would be this Palazzo della Torre from Allegrini.

I love the way that this wine has changed over the years, now coming in with with both lower alcohol and residual sugar, as well as what appears to be an ever-evolving cépage. In previous vintages the tannins were occasionally a little challenging for some, but in the 2019 the tannin management has reached new heights, resulting in some seriously silky smooth tannins that complement the plump, ripe dark fruit profile perfectly. It has greatly improved into a brilliantly vibrant modern wine, showing the true potential of what can be achieved with carefully crafted Veronese red blends.

With this 2019 bottling we are looking at an altered assemblage of Corvina Veronese (40%), Corvinone (30%) and Rondinella (25%) as well as 5% Sangiovese (not so traditional for this region, but we are seeing a little more of it these days). 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 13.5% alcohol. While extremely well balanced, it still ticks all the boxes for those looking for a slightly weightier wine (now with only 6g of residual sugar), and at a fraction of the cost of many others in the market.

The bouquet is also perhaps a little more complex, with the delightful blueberry, blackcurrant, coffee, dark chocolate, violet, and clove nuances of previous vintages being present, but there’s also a deeper, richer prune-like fruit character here that carries through to the palate, bringing a layered depth to the deliciously intense dark chocolate/black raspberry ripple ice cream core… it’s a very attractive wine, that’s for sure. There’s an excellent acidic presence here (see: black raspberries) that substantially lifts the wine in the mouth. The sustained finish is also really quite memorable.

Although I have certainly enjoyed previous vintages of this solid wine, the 2019 is a real shining star, especially for $25.

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.

It’s drinking rather wonderfully right now, but I think it would only get better if cellared for a further 5 – 7 years or so.

It’s available through LCBO Vintages as of tomorrow, Saturday the 17th of December 2022.

(Four out of a possible five apples)