Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Fontodi: Modern Touch, Traditional Feel

By Eric Guido

With the start of each new year comes the myriad of Italian wine tastings that have become the highlight of these early winter months. Each year, I find myself tasting the new releases of all my favorite wines. This year, one winery that has truly stood out among the rest for its entire portfolio, it's the Tuscan property of Fontodi.

I have loved these wines in the past, often in their more mature states, yet two years ago I was left breathless by the youthful 2007 Fontodi Flaccianello della Pieve Colli della Toscana. From top to bottom, they are highly enjoyable wines that show tremendous relative value. However, this year, the entire range was something to be marveled at. The entry-level Chianti Classico is a wine that every lover of Italian wine should be enjoying today, while the Riserva level Vigna del Sorbo soared in its youthfulness, yet begged for time in the cellar; and the Flaccianello, while nothing like the 2007 is graceful, youthful and full of potential.

This organic estate is located in the heart of the Chianti Classico region, just south of the town of Panzano. Using a gravity-fed cellar and focused on maintaining the natural integrity of the grapes, Fontodi turns out beautiful Sangiovese-based wines with a modern touch. However, don’t write these off as modern wines, as the 2009 Flaccianello proves in spades. With less dependency on new oak, this wine shines like never before. If you haven’t experienced them before, now is the time, and if you have the chance to taste a mature Vigna del Sorbo, do not pass it up, as these are regal wines of the highest caliber.

2009 Fontodi Chianti Classico – The nose showed cherry sauce with Tuscan dust, spicy notes, hints of mushroom and citrus. On the palate, it was focused with refined red fruits and inner floral notes. The finish was clean with pure red fruits and hints of structure. This was easily one of the best entry-level Chianti I’ve tasted this year. (91 points) Find it on Wine-Searcher!

2009 Fontodi Chianti Classico Riserva Vigna del Sorbo – The nose showed red berries, floral notes, herbs and a slight hint of vanilla. On the palate, I found tart red berries with dusty spices and herbal notes leading to a structured finish with fine grain tannins. This was a great young expression of Vigna del Sorbo. (93 points) Find it on Wine-Searcher!

2009 Fontodi Flaccianello della Pieve Colli della Toscana Centrale IGT – The nose was beautiful, showing intense dark fruits, woodsy and earthy notes with berries and flowers. On the palate, it was soft and balanced with ripe berry fruits and violets on a medium, balanced body that walked the tightrope between richness and cleansing acidity. The structured finish was long and filled with inner floral notes. (94 points) Find it on Wine-Searcher!

Visit the Fontodi Website!

1 comment:

  1. Indeed, Its modern touch with traditional feelings. You described all things very clearly and I can say that you didn't only experience it but also felt it by heart.
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