The Wines of Poggio ArgentieriA, Maremma, Tuscany



Poggio ArgentierA are based just south of Grosseto, Tuscany. The estate was bought in 1997 by an Anglo-Italian couple: Gianpaolo Paglia, an agronomist from Maremma and Justine Keeling Paglia, a marketing professional from England.  The etate came with around six hectares of old vines, and they set about planting further vineyards - at a high density to restrict each vine's production and increase quality.  

A year or two ago, a local restaurant, The Italian Orchard in Broughton near Preston started listing some of these wines. This was odd, as the Italian Orchard had up to this point had a virtually uniquely Friulan wine list. (Well, they have another, secret, wine list with deep verticals of most of the top names of Italian winemaking, but they never show that to customers as - unsurprisingly - the prices of e.g. old Gaja are enough to frighten the horses.) So to have some Tuscan interlopers on the list, immediately marked them out as worthy of attention. The first I had was the Fonte_40 which blew me away.

2007 Fonte_40, Poggio ArgentierA, IGT Maremma Toscana, 13.5%
This is a blend of 40% ansonica, 40% vermentino and 20% fiano, vinified in stainless steel and concrete vats.
A mid straw colour. There's crisp lemon minerality, asparagus and even a hint of carrots on the nose of this confident blend. Wow! This is superb in the mouth, with a really classy feel. It has an extremely nice richness and weight, with a sort of chardonnay-sauvignon feel to it, but with lots of character. An elegant wine in the mouth, combining richness, depth and finesse. Very persistent after. A very fine wine indeed.

Along the same lines, omitting the fiano is another white blend, Guazza:

Guazza label 2007 Guazza, Poggio ArgentierA, IGT Maremma Toscana, 13%
80% ansonica; 20% vermentino, some from old (30/40 year old) wines. Made entirely in stainless steel.
I've had this twice now, but so ridiculously moreish is it that last time the two of us polished off the first bottle so quickly that we had to order another, which went nearly as quickly.
This has a gorgeous fragrant nose: floral and lemon balm notes with a touch of buttery, nutty complexity and a hint of scented geranium leaf. There's some lovely minerality on nose and it's showing on the palate too. It's got a lovely freshness on the palate, with some quite tropical flavours. But it also has a nice complexity: rich and full-flavoured, though retaining a nice elegance. Very engaging. A very nice wine.

The other day, the owner's son pointed us to another Poggio Argentiera wine that's not on his list, a sauvignon blanc called Alture. A sauvignon blanc from Tuscany? Are you mad? Well maybe, but it worked for me. Again very moreish.

2007 Alture, Poggio ArgentierA, IGT Maremma Toscana, 14%
This has a super nose, somewhere between a floral sauvignon and a Rhône white - there are some definite viognier-like hints in there. Lovely palate. It's clearly sauvignon, but not entirely sauvignon as we know it, Jim. It has quite a weighty mouthfeel with an impression of richness. It manages to combine the freshness and brightness of sauvignon blanc with ... err ... something else. Nice length and balance. Very impressive.
Poggio Argentiera Alture bottle  

The whites have been cracking wines, drinking beautifully, though with no need to rush to drink up. However, the couple of reds I've tried seem to be rather slower developing. Nice wines, still, but needing time.

2007 BellamarsiliA, Poggio ArgentierA, DOCG Morellino di Scansano, 13.5%
85% sangiovese; 10% ciliegiolo, 5% alicante. No oak.
Quite a young colour, but not vibrantly youthful. There are warm red fruits and cherries on a very integrated nose. The palate has very soft, round fruits - initially quite open, and belying its youth, though there's some exuberant, dusty tannins on the finish and a not fully integrated structure on the finish. It really needs another 3 or 4 years, I think.
2006 Capatosta, Poggio ArgentierA, DOCG Morellino di Scansano, 14.5%
95% sangiovese; 5% alicante. Fermented and matured in French oak.
The nose has rich red and cherry fruit with sweet toasty oak. Fairly ripe immediately, it opens up and calms down into something more austere. Very dominated by pretty fierce tannins. Very deep and concentrated. Really needs plenty of time.

No, I don't know what's going on with the gratuitous capitalisation of trailing As.

I think the restaurant imports direct, but wine-searcher suggests Slurp also brings some of their wines in, though not all the ones tasted above.

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Last updated: 1 December 2010