By Valentina Phillips
The 2019 International Sweet Wine Revelation from Concours Mondial de Bruxelles was awarded to the Tuscan winery Poggio Salvi. Its 2007 Vin Santo de Chianti DOC scored the highest among the 85 competitors in the category. For the winery’s owners, the revelation trophy is a reward for their hard work, and confirmation of the excellence of Poggio Salvi.
Poggio Salvi has established and made a name for itself in the international marketplace by following one guiding principal: producing wines on a relatively boutique scale while setting its sights squarely on quality. “Before we decide to bottle a wine, it must first undergo very rigorous examination and if due to adverse weather, it does not meet our quality standards, we have no qualms about downgrading it”, explains owner Roberto Bonucci.
The 2007 Vin Santo de Chianti DOC, whose annual production is limited to 3,000 bottles, is emblematic for the winery: “The 2007 Vin Santo de Chianti DOC is a niche product that we care about a lot, because it epitomizes the quality of our wines”, says Bonucci.
The International Sweet Wine Revelation trophy from Concours Mondial de Bruxelles has made more buyers inquisitive.
The grapes are selected carefully, choosing the strongest and healthiest clusters which are hung on hooks fastened to the ceiling, in well-ventilated rooms, for drying. After two months, they are pressed and the dense and extremely sweet must is placed inside 225-litre durmast “caratelli” (oak barrels) located under the cellar’s roof.
The Vin Santo stays in the “caratelli” for approximately 4 years and is subject to all temperature changes, as per the Tuscan tradition. During this lengthy period, the Vin Santo ferments various times and oxidizes slowly, developing its yellow-gold color and taking on the aroma of the yeasts, also called “the mother”, which are deposited on the base of the caratello over time. Aging continues in glass demijohns for a few months, and then in bottles.
80% of the 2007 Vin Santo de Chianti DOC is sold in New York, plus some in Belgium and the rest directly from the winery. The retail price for a 375 ml bottle is €18.00. According to the winery owners, the International Sweet Wine Revelation trophy from Concours Mondial de Bruxelles has made more buyers inquisitive: “We have already noticed interest from some of our importers and distributors, who until now hadn’t included our wine in their product range, and also from individual customers wanting to taste it.”
“Customers pay a lot of attention to the medal stickers. I believe that this is a way to facilitate sales.”
Currently, the winery is using its revelation award as a commercial tool at international wine fairs, hoping to attract new customers, especially from Asia – a market that Poggio Salvi is strongly focusing on. “When we display the bottles, it seems to me that customers pay a lot of attention to the medal stickers. I believe that this is a way to facilitate sales”, concludes Roberto Bonucci.
2007 Vin Santo de Chianti DOC
Format: 0.375 l
Region/Area: Tuscany, Sovicille (SI)
Grapes: 60% Trebbiano, 40% Malvasia del Chianti
Alcohol content: 16.5 %
Residual sugar: 125g/l
Tasting notes: Shiny golden color. Intense and complex scents of almond and orange developed over the long aging period. Excellent body, velvety, harmonious and moderately sweet.
Vin santo is a sweet wine for desserts, ideal for accompanying sweets typical of Tuscany like cantuccini biscuits and strongly flavored cheeses like gorgonzola.
Recommended serving temperature: 8/10° C.
About the winery:
Most of Poggio Salvi wines are made at the Poggio Salvi farm, belonging to the family’s historical heritage, located in the heart of Tuscany. It is situated 11 kilometers south-west of Siena, in the town of Sovicille in the province of Siena, over rolling hills 280 m. above sea level. Other wines are produced in Montepulciano and Manciano in Maremma, in the province of Grosseto.
Poggio Salvi is run by Laura Bicchi, partly assisted by her husband Roberto Bonucci, while their son Jacopo Bonucci, winemaker and owner of the Azienda Agricola Poggio Salvi in Sovicelle, produces the wine.