La Poja by Allegrini
Allegrini is one of the most well known producers from Italy, famous for their wines from Valpolicella. Family owned, Allegrini is one of the oldest producers in the region and is part of Amarone Families, an association of 12 historical producers from the region, along with names like Masi, Tommasi and Zenato. Infact Marilisa Allegrini is the president of Amarone Families and has been handling marketing for Allegini since the 80s.
I recently met Anastasia Roncoletta, Allegrini’s export manager who was on a market visit to India. Roncoletta is studying for the Master of Wine exam and was training staff of most of the five-star hotel chains. It was good to see that they look at India as a tremendous market for the near future, and one comment of Anastasia which really surprised me was India being more aware about wines than China!
I have always enjoyed Allegrini’s Amarone (here is a link to when I tasted the 2009 vintage with David Rocco) and this time I got to taste another gem from their portfolio, the La Poja.
Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara grapes are used for making the characteristic style of wines from the region, which are Valpolicella Classico, Repasso, Recioto and, of course, Amarone. My two trips to the region introduced me to some wines which were 100% Corvina like the La Poja, and also wines which were blends of even more grapes, at times as many as 10 native varietals.
What makes La Poja special is the vineyard. The family run estates of Allegrini have been operational since 1600s, owning some of the best terroir in the region. Planted in 1979 by Giovanni Allegrini, this is their smallest and most precious parcel of vineyard they have, measuring just 6.5 acres. The surface, being both stony, appears white and end up reflecting sun rays back to the grapes, ensuring the best possible degree of sugar concentration. The wine is aged for 20 months in new oak, and production is limited to just about 14,000 bottles per vintage.
Nose : Sour cherries, sweet spices like star anise, rosemary, vanilla and tobacco. Lovely nose, very expressive and complex as well.
Palate : Consistent with the nose, lots of cherries along with blackberries, herbs, underlying spice all along and tobacco and cocoa on the finish, which is quite long. Full bodied wine with very soft tannins, takes time to open up and pairs well with red meats and aged cheese.
Excellent wine and comes highly recommended from my side. The wine retails for Rs. 10,093 in Maharashtra.
Featured image: La Poja vineyard.