This unique red wine is a rather newly expression of Argiano’s winegrowing potential compared to its Sangiovese-based reds. ‘Solengo’, a Tuscan word meaning ‘lone wild boar’, marries Tuscan soil with French grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Merlot and Syrah. It is the result of a team effort between Adriano Bambagioni, Argiano’s long’serving cellar-master and Hans Vinding-Diers, a master winemaker and blender with worldwide experience. While keen to retain Solengo’s unique style the new team is also endowing Solengo with even greater levels of finesse, balance and depth. Hans made and blended his first vintage in 2004, while Solengo is a ‘creation’ of former renowned winemaker Dr Giacomo Tachis.
Solengo is a modern, well balanced and full-bodied wine. It has a deep black, purple colour with a bouquet of ripe fruits, such as black currant and blackberry, infused with toasty oak. It is soft on the palate with great concentration of lush fruit nicely in balance with its fine, smooth tannins. The palate finds impressive structure and complexity tempered by exemplary tannic extracts. This high profile blend has evident Mediterranean characteristics with a sunny character. Its grace and gentleness enable an early drinking, nevertheless after a few years of bottle ageing, the wine will develop more complexity and depth.
Argiano’s vineyards are blessed with a fortunate microclimate and enviable position both of which contribute to favourable development of the grapes. The extended vegetative cycle and maturation period are due to the 300m above see level plateau thus creating cool nights in the summer months. The moderate rainfall in general of Montalcino promotes a better and healthier ripening period, bringing more concentration and flavours to the wine. This combined with the constant and warm winds from the Maremma that cool down the grapes during the hottest days of summer enables a slower ripening period rendering all over favourable conditions. Last but not the least, the close proximity of Argiano to Monte Amiata, one of Tuscany’s highest peak that shelters the whole area from bad weather. Consequently, all factors combined enable Argiano to produce year after year high profile wines and consistently good vintages.
The grapes are picked from end-September to beginning of October. The harvest always begins with the Syrah and the Merlot grapes while the Cabernet Sauvignon grape needs some more time to express its whole personality through a later ripening. The three different grapes are fermented separately in stainless steel tanks with temperature control for 12 to 16 days. The second fermentation, also called Malolactic (which all red wines undergo), occurred immediately after the alcoholic fermentation to emphasise softness of both fruit and tannin. The wine then aged 15 to 17 months in new French oak barrels. Solengo is usually blended at the end of May with a final blend composed of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Merlot and Syrah. It is bottled in July with no filtration and as a result may possess the harmless sediment which is the sign of high quality, natural wine.