David's visit to San Polo

On a recent trip to Italy, our Wine Buyer David Grant visited a dozen of our incredible producers. We'll be highlighting each over the next couple of months. He’s written about Poggio al Tesoro and Tassi, and now San Polo.

A week after we had met up with her at Poggio al Tesoro, the fun and expertly knowledgeable Eugenia Corradi showed us around the Marilisa Allegrini Group’s sister vineyard, San Polo.

In 2001, Marilisa Allegrini and her brother Walter moved from their beloved Valpolicella to 70 hectares of Bolgherian vineyards where they started Poggio al Tesoro. Just a few years later, in 2007, Marilisa Allegrini purchased San Polo in Montalcino, which was first planted under vine in 1990.

After our vineyard and cellar tour, we had a tasting with Eugenia and winemaker Riccardo Fratton. Both were so generous with their time (it was definitely dark by the time we left!) as well as their thoughts and theories on everything ranging from sustainability and the estate’s move to parcelling.

With sustainability at its core

In 2013, the San Polo winery was awarded the CasaClima Wine Certification, which is based on strict criteria relating to reducing resources and limiting environmental impact. San Polo was the first in Tuscany and second in the world to have achieved this sustainability certificate following the evaluation of numerous aspects including waste management, the use of efficient electrical machinery, the use of local and recycled products, sustainable mobility and logistics, monitoring of resource consumption, measures to increase the quality of life, and functional production processes. In 2017, San Polo became certified organic.

Increased focus on parcelling

Since 2015, San Polo has been experimenting with managing each single vineyard separately. The "parcelling" process of the vineyards starts with carefully subdividing the land into small plots with their own particular characteristics. Soil and climate variations require different techniques of working the soil. Riccardo said ultimately he would like to only work with parcels, so each Brunello is released with the name of its vineyard.

The wines of San Polo

San Polo Brunello di Montalcino 2013
A blend of two vineyards, San Polo’s Brunello di Montalcino is powerful and elegant – a classic sangiovese of this region. It’s a traditional style that you’ll find less and less from San Polo – acidity, finesse and elegance are the characteristics that this vintage will be remembered for, which is also perfectly suited to ageing. Drink by 2030.

San Polo 'Podernovi' Brunello di Montalcino 2015
2015 was one of the best vintages in Montalcino in the last twenty years; the entire growing cycle of the vine took place under the best possible conditions. Fittingly, Podernovi as a single site Brunello made its debut with this extraordinary vintage. Crafted with Sangiovese grapes grown in the vineyard synonymous with the wine, it is among the most beautiful and archetypal of Montalcino.

San Polo 'Vignavecchia' Brunello di Montalcino 2015 Magnum
Brunello as it should be: in magnum format! Made only in select vintages, Vignavecchia is the estate's smallest and most prized cru. Produced from a tiny, west-facing, 5 acre vineyard planted on a steep hill, this is the winery's oldest and most prized vineyard block.

James Suckling awarded it a perfect 100 points.

Stay tuned for the next instalment of this series, with notes from David’s visit to San Guglielmo.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.