Allegrini Palazzo Della Torre: The Secrets in the Label

European wine labels are often a confusing maze of information. That’s a result of a fairly complicated set of rules and regulations that require wineries to provide precise details about who, what, why and where.

Take our wine of the week: Allegrini Palazzo Della Torre, 2008.

Let’s get the most important fact out about this wine. It’s a spectacularly delicious red wine that just needs to be in your collection, on your table and in your glass.

But, why would you ever even be attracted to such a fantastic wine given the thousands of brighter, funkier labels? That’s where our job at RED comes in to play.

First let’s mention the industry hype. This wine is one of the best values in the Wine Spectator’s Top 100 Wines of 2011 (#60). It rated 90 points.

It’s usually $25.  We are featuring it for just $17.99. Buy 3 bottles (or more) and save 10%. Sold yet? Possibly…

But here are the facts that really matter. Information that is so special and important that each tidbit is a vital piece to solving the Palazzo Della Torre puzzle that most of us would never know to piece together. And that would indeed be a real loss to our taste buds!

On the label:

Producer:  Allegrini.  An entrenched family with ties to the area back to the Fourteenth Century. In fact, the Allegrini family is one of the largest landowners. Currently the winery is run by three Allegrini siblings. Walter is the vineyard manager. Franco is the winemaker. Marilisa is the director of marketing.

Location: The winery is located in the Italian commune of Fumane, a village of just 4,000 inhabitants located in the province of Verona. Verona is found in the wine growing region called Venato. Fumane is about 68 miles west of Venice and nine miles northwest of Verona. There is a village called Valpolicella, meaning “valley of many cellars”. You may have heard of a wine called Valpolicella. It’s not named after a grape!

Name on Label: Palazzo della Torre. A beautiful vineyard that is owned by the Allegrini family that surrounds the family compound Villa della Torre. This ancient dwelling is where previous generations have toiled to perfect the vines, blends and created a true jewel. The vineyards feature terraced stone walls.

Grapes: This wine is a blend of three red grapes. Corvina Veronese (70%), Rondinella (25%) and Sangiovese (5%).

These grapes are divided into two ‘batches.’ About 70% of the grapes are picked and vinified immediately. The remaining 30% receives a little special treatment. Each grape is left to air dry on mats until December. This process is a slight variation of the ripasso process. Ripasso basically means combining the fresh juice that was vinified immediately and blending it with the flavorful air dried grapes and creating a fuller-bodied, more interesting wine. Hence, a blend of a blend of grapes. Certainly this precision is not a simple process and is time consuming to perfect.

Results: Simply amazing. So much time, attention and hard work goes into making this age worthy wine that it is hard to believe we are selling it for just $18! The wine has volumes of delicious fruit flavors including raisins, plum and blackberry. There is a great hint of tar, graphite, smoke, vanilla and even chocolate. This wine is best served, just under room temperature, with freshly grilled and roasted red meats.

Cheers!

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