Argiano Solengo 2005 is another of those great value Super Tuscans but this time from the heart of Montalcino. Argiano Solengo has long been a favourite within Italy, less famous than your Tigs and Solaias but inside a more acceptable price bracket for those of us less minted than Scrooge McDuck. The 2005 has been particularly well received by the critics so I thought I would buy a bottle from my local Enoteca and see if it's as good as they say. If you're a frequent reader of the blog you'll know I reviewed a fair few Super Tuscans back in early summer and 2005 has been a vintage where many had struggled to reach the quality of the previous vintage. Perhaps because this isn't coming out of Bolgheri or perhaps because the guys at Argiano did a super job, this wine hasn't suffered at all from 2004, in fact it's better.
Solegno has an interesting, more even blend than many other Super Tuscans using 25% Syrah, 30% Merlot and 45% Cabernet Sauvignon. Something about this wine gives me the impression of a little less polish and a robustness that isn't a feature of other Super T's and I like what they are trying to do here. It's firm and fruity and different. It's also capable of ageing and has great structure and balance. An excellent choice for a case buy Super Tuscan the wine does have the ability to evolve year on year in a pronounced way. I bought a case of the 2004 and from tasting the 2005 wish I hadn't! Not that the 2004 isn't superb but the 2005 has that "drink now" factor I wasn't getting from 2004. The Solegno spends 16 months in french oak and is an unfiltered wine. This wine is bold and different and might not appeal to every palate, just because you enjoy Tig is no indicator at all that you'll like this wine. It's quite outside the "normal" Super T profile. The wine is infamous for catching people out in blind tastings, you may think Bordeaux or even Australia, I wouldn't call this an expression of Italy, I'd just call it a fine bottle of vino! Argiano's Brunello di Montalcino isn't half bad either but no where close to this special wine.
I've read a lot of cases of the 2001 being spoilt wine in the US. Not sure if this was an isolated vintage.
Argiano Solengo 2005 - BUY - €45
Deep, penetrating dark red, bordering on black in the glass. Spicy nose, detectable oak, licorice and wild berries. A thick and mouth filling wine, good acidity and silky tannins. On the palate some earthy flavours come to the fore with a long satisfying finish. 93 Points
Where can I buy this wine?
Europeans - Alla Corte di Bacco - €45
Americans - Liberty Harbor - $59.99
Brits - Fine and Rare - £34
Australians - Prince Wine Store - AU$140
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Tricky wines. Everyone talks about how wines are becoming more and more similar and the individual expressiveness of the terroir is being eroded by producers trying to copy a certain "international" style. Do you feel wines produced are becoming more and more similar? Which wines do you find give no hint of their terroir? Examples!