Of all our afternoons on the world’s finest wine trails, including cellar tours and tastings at Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, Château Lafite-Rothschild, or a 10-vintage lineup of Grasso Barolo “Rüncot,” none is as memorable as that day at Il Palagio.
The drive from Florence to the small village of Figline Valdarno was picturesque, the undulating hills of Tuscany bathed in the hot summer sun. The turnoff onto the idyllic, cypress-lined driveway that led to the villa offered no hint of the name of the proprietor or the rock-star life he’s led. As we headed toward the entrance of Il Palagio, instead of going inside, we were directed to the patio in the back. We took our seats in the shade in front of the oversized stone chessboard, the king and queen towering over pawns, bishops, and knights. The music in the background had been indelibly imprinted on our memories. One of the many songs we recognized is called “Sister Moon.”
We played black and opted for Bobby Fischer’s Sicilian Defense. Our host, playing white, pushed a pawn to K-4.
When Sting and his wife, Trudie Styler, purchased this magnificent estate, some assumed the couple would do as so many other celebrities have done: They’d spend a couple weeks a year at Il Palagio, entertaining celebrities and basking in the Tuscan sun. But those who thought as much were sorely mistaken. The vocalist who was born in Newcastle with the name of Gordon Sumner would approach winegrowing much as he had his music. A decade after they purchased Il Palagio, the wine crafted by enologist Paolo Caciorgna would be earning rave reviews on both sides of the Atlantic from the most influential wine critics on the planet.
In April, the couple that routinely shows up in the pages of Time, GQ, and Rolling Stone landed on the cover of Wine Spectator for their masterful stewardship of Il Palagio. Tens of thousands read about their love affair with Tuscany and this Tignanello-inspired Sangiovese/Cabernet Sauvignon blend called “Sister Moon.”
The 2010 Il Palagio “Sister Moon” is drawn from what’s now widely accepted to be the greatest Tuscan vintage in 30 years. Opaque purple in color with plush aromas of blackberry and crushed-red-fruit preserves, the attack is rich, powerful, and modernistic, an ultra-concentrated black-fruit gumbo laced with crème de cassis. The slightly rustic, dusty tannin finish keeps all the Tuscan opulence in perfect check. Drink now-2025.
$75 on release. $36 today. The last 180 cases are making their way stateside, ALL ticketed for WineAccess. Shipping included on 4.
Sting's vineyard makes a very solid red in Sister Moon. Bright red fruits with silky tannins and a nice long finish are what you can expect from this Tuscan red.
Great right out of the bottle. Smooth, wonderful flavors and full bodied.
The fruit dark cherry and raspberry nose and taste that was closed off the first night really blossomed overnight, with well balanced acidity and silky smooth tanins. A blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot and sangiovese. Not sure about aging potential, but be sure to let this breath before drinking.
Delivery was postponed several times from a month to 8 weeks. Wine was good but overpriced. Wineaccess is not the friendliest company to work with.
Not that impressed with the first bottle...have one more left to try. Perhaps I just didn't appreciate the acidity and the dryness? What I can remember from my bottle of a month ago? Nothing. Nothing memorable at all.
Was very excited to try this, but unfortunately, I found it pretty average and forgettable. I would rather have spent the money elsewhere. Perhaps some time in the cellar will improve the quality. It was a pretty lightweight wine.
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