~ The villa at Argiano, home to Solengo & excellent Brunello ~

Giacomo Tachis conceived Solengo in the early 1990s and after some formulaic tweaking, the wine debuted in the 1995 vintage.  From the beginning, it was a sort of “kitchen sink” blend that while tasty, lacked tipicity if not personality.  What it didn’t lack was style and price.

Up until the release of the 2000 vintage, Solengo was a blend of Cabernet, Merlot, Syrah and Sangiovese in equal portions. Beginning in 2000, the Syrah was swapped for Petit Verdot and the Sangiovese shrunk to the point of insignificance.  To me, modern versions resemble Bordeaux.

Solengo Cellar

~ The winding staircase that descends under the Villa of Argiano. In addition to the estate’s wines, the cellar also holds the personal collection of the new Brazilian owner ~

That said, the recent vintages of the wine have been eye opening.  Back in October, during the Rustic Tuscany Tour we had a wonderful visit at the estate.  That tasting included sampling the 2020 and 2011 Solengo which were both impressive.  As a result, I didn’t hesitate when I recently spotted the 2019 version for a fair price on a wine list.

“Solengo” is both a wine and a single vineyard of the same name.  It sits about 300 meters above sea level on soils strewn with seabed fossils and large stones.  The vineyard has been partially replanted over the years so the vines range from 12-60 years old.


~ The aging caves at Argiano are the things of legend and fairly tale ~

The 2019 Argiano Solengo is deep garnet in color, nearly opaque in the decanter.  The Sommelier decanted the wine without asking me, but in reality I don’t think it needed it.  A side bar on wine service: that was a bad move on her part because the wine was noticeably too warm.  Had it remained in the bottle, I’d have asked for an ice bucket.  Alas….

On the nose, the black fruits, black licorice and blue flowers are prominent.  The flavors follow the nose, but what makes this wine stand out is its texture.  Velvety waves of black fruit cascade across the palate with hints of cocoa, roasted coffee and soft vanilla notes accenting the flavor.  It’s set to full pleasure mode and it’s hard to complain.  The tannins are well integrated and unobtrusive.  I don’t like sweeping generalizations and I’m sure it’s bound to happen, but for higher end wines, I’ve not had a bad 2019 yet.  95 points. About $70-$90 so shop around.  Find this wine.


~ A viscous, velvety wine that drinks well now but will age well for up to a decade ~

Stay tuned for more new releases in the coming weeks including notes on Barolo and a Tre Bicchieri gem under $15.    Salute!

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