Il Palagio Roxanne Toscana Bianco 2017
This light, refreshing Bianco Toscana is a versatile and very drinkable wine to complement many dishes and to capture the heart. Ideal as an aperitif or to accompany fish and vegetables.
Blend: 87% Vermentino, 10% Sauvignon Blanc, 3% Viognier
Villa Il Palagio estate lies amid the rolling hills of the lush, fertile Tuscan countryside south of Florence. The private home of Sting and his wife Trudie Styler and the favorite retreat for their friends and growing family, this truly remarkable sixteenth-century estate nestles among the vineyards of the Chianti region. Il Palagio is set above the picturesque Tuscan town of Figline Valdarno. It has been the summer home for Sting and Trudie’s family for the last two decades, and the setting for many of their intimate parties, private concerts and anniversaries. The estate — the villa, its guesthouses, vineyards and olive groves — has been lovingly restored by Sting and Trudie, and is now a vibrant and fully functioning organic farm and vineyard.
From the mid-1500s Il Palagio has harvested, fermented and bottled its own wines. Sting and Trudie have gone to great lengths to keep the tradition alive. Using organic farming methods, they have replanted 27 acres of vineyards since 2000, resulting in four beautiful reds: Roxanne, Casino delle Vie, Sister Moon and When We Dance.
From its very beginning, in the 1500’s, Il Palagio has been an agricultural property. In the late 1700s the Martelli family purchased the estate, which grew in size with their prosperity. In 1819 it was sold to the Countess Carlotta Barbolani of Montauto, widow of the Duke of San Clemente. Il Palagio, in the family’s hands for 178 years, produced wine, oil, wheat, corn, sugar beets, peaches, apricots and cherries.
In 1990, Trudie Styler began what would become a seven-year search for an Italian retreat. In 1997 she found Il Palagio. With stewardship of the historic Il Palagio passed to Trudie and Sting, there followed a decade of restoration and expansion; hundreds of acres that had been sold off by the Duke were reacquired, doubling the size of the estate which now comprises 865 acres, much of it given over to forest. The buildings on the property— some of which date back to the 16th century—were restored and modernized.
Trudie and Sting have a well-documented commitment to philanthropic efforts. In 1989 they founded the Rainforest Foundation which has raised more than $40 million to support indigenous rainforest peoples and help them protect their ancestral lands. As a UNICEF ambassador, Trudie has raised $10 million for their efforts. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of Il Palagio products is earmarked to benefit charities.
One of the most iconic Italian regions for wine, scenery and history, Tuscany is the world’s most important outpost for the Sangiovese grape. Ranging in style from fruity and simple to complex and age-worthy, Sangiovese makes up a significant percentage of plantings here, with the white Trebbiano Toscano coming in second.
Within Tuscany, many esteemed wines have their own respective sub-zones, including Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. The climate is Mediterranean and the topography consists mostly of picturesque rolling hills, scattered with vineyards.
Sangiovese at its simplest produces straightforward pizza-friendly wines with bright and juicy red fruit, but at its best it shows remarkable complexity and ageability. Top-quality Sangiovese-based wines can be expressive of a range of characteristics such as sour cherry, balsamic, dried herbs, leather, fresh earth, dried flowers, anise and tobacco. Brunello expresses well the particularities of vintage variations and is thus popular among collectors. Chianti is associated with tangy and food-friendly dry wines at various price points. A more recent phenomenon as of the 1970s is the “Super Tuscan”—a wine made from international grape varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Syrah, with or without Sangiovese. These are common in Tuscany’s coastal regions like Bolgheri, Val di Cornia, Carmignano and the island of Elba.
With hundreds of white grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a variety that creates a soft and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is more fragrant and naturally high in acidity. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.