The wines of Podernuovo a Palazzone, polished gems from the south of Tuscany


Giovanni Bulgari is part of the Bulgari family, famous for their jewelry business. His family sold to LVMH in 2011, but he’s developed an interest in wine, and in the early 2000s began his new project, PoderNuovo.  

The vineyards are based in the south of Tuscany and Umbria. PoderNuovo’s base in Tuscany is where the winery is located, and all the red grapes are grown here. And then there are 4 hectares of white varieties in Corbara, close by, but over the border in Umbria.

The soils in Tuscany are blue clay and limestone, whereas Corbara has sandy soils with huge fossils, and suits whites better. PoderNuovo is in the central part of Tuscany, with a continental climate with high diurnal variation in temperature. This helps the reds stay fresh. Giovanni had the chance to buy a new estate in Montalcino, but he wanted to do something different in a lesser-known area.

The winery viewed from above

In 2007 all the existing vineyards on the property were replanted, and in 2009 was the first harvest. The goal is high quality wine with environmental sustainability. Biodiversity is a focus, and the estate totals 50 ha, with 22 ha of vines, plus olive trees, arable land and beehives. All the 22 ha of vines are around the winery, and are planted to Sangiovese, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot.

The farming is organic and harvest is by hand. There’s the potential to produce 300 000 bottles, but just 100 000 are made because of selection.

The winery itself is very modern, most of which is hidden inside the hill. Geothermal heating and cooling is used, and there are solar panels on the roof. The idea is to have zero impact on the environment. The approach is artisanal in the winery. The Bordeaux varieties are aged in small oak, but the Sangiovese is aged in botti, because it is sensitive to oxygen and the barrel imprint is potentially too strong.

One of the reasons for this tasting, held at the Bulgari hotel in London, was to showcase a new wine: G33. The first vintage at the estate was made in 2009, but in 2018 after a lot of research, three fantastic plots were identified in addition to the Sangiovese of Sotirio. This is a blend of Sangiovese, Petit Verdot and Merlot, all one-third each in the blend. They had some consultancy from Ricardo Cotarella that helped in the development of this wine, from 2009-2012. The varieties are fermented separately, and aged in new barrels for two years.


PoderNuovo NicoLeo 2020 Umbria, Italy
This is equal parts Grechetto and Chardonnay, with 20% fermented in barrel. This has freshness with nice citrus fruit, a touch of pear and green apple, and a delicacy. It’s textured with ripe fruit, but also some fine spicy hints. Supple and quite fine, with a gentle character. Has a delicate saline, nutty character on the finish. Very stylish. 91/100

PoderNuovo Therra 2019 Tuscany, Italy
Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. 10 months in small oak (one third new) then 6 months in concrete. This is supple and bright with a grippy, grainy structure under the blackberry and black cherry fruit. There’s a sense of freshness here, and the fruit is very pure, but there’s also some structure. Hints of olives and some nice mineral notes, with good acidity. 93/100

PoderNuovo Argirio 2018 Tuscany, Italy
15% alcohol. This is varietal Cabernet Franc. This is matured in small oak (all older barrels), and then concrete tanks. This is luxurious, with textured sweet blackcurrant and cherry fruit. There is a sense of luxury here: it’s fruit forward, ripe and sleek with a softness to the tannins, but also good freshness and balance. Has a hint of olive and cured meat, and also some chalkiness. Stylish stuff. 94/100

PoderNuovo Sotirio 2018 Tuscany, Italy
Single vineyard Sangiovese, matured in 1500 litre botti. Ripe and textural with lovely blackcurrant and black cherry fruit, with nice intensity. There’s a supple fruity quality, with nice ripeness and depth, showing some saline hints and a twist of olive and meat. It’s sleek and polished, with a hint of green on the finish. This is Sangiovese at its ripest and most polished, with very smooth tannins. 94/100

G33 2018 Tuscany, Italy
Concentrated, intense and quite primary with firm tannins under the dense blackcurrant and blackberry fruit. There’s some spicy oak, but it is well integrated with the super-concentrated black fruits. It has some crushed rock, some wood spice, a hint of chocolate, and lots of potential for development. Very super-Tuscan in style, with immense concentration, but also some freshness. It will be fascinating to see how this ambitious wine develops. 95/100

UK agent: fortyfive10

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