The 2015 vintage was superb across the leading regions in Europe. In Tuscany it saw exceptionally dry and hot weather during the summer resulting in concentrated ripe berries. The wines have been met with real excitement, particularly those heralding from Chianti, reminiscent of the 2010 vintage. Today we are delighted to release one of Italy’s greatest wines, from what will be viewed as one of their greatest vintages, Fontodi Flaccianello 2015! So far it has only been tasted by James Suckling who has awarded it its second joint highest ever score, 96-97 points, surpassing the 2010 and putting it on par with the 2013. This is a stellar score, which gives it a Price over Points ratio (POP) of 34, an incredible score for a wine with such a global cachet. Moreover, it is the Wine Advocate and Antonio Galloni that have been its greatest champions and we can expect scores in line with 2006, 2010 and 2013 from them also, vintages which trade respectively at £325, £410 and £600. We are delighted to release the 2015 today at £290 per case of six, truly remarkable value.
Fontodi was once a well-kept secret, yet over the last few years it has become widely known to be truly great. As such, Flaccianello sells out extremely quickly on release and in great vintages its high critic scores leads to secondary market trading, driving the price up in the short term. Long-term, Flaccianello displays excellent vintage premium. It is now released on allocation, such is its demand and the Estate only produce 5,000 cases a year. It is very hard to source in older vintages; few clients would ever want to re-sell this sumptuous wine.
Fontodi Flaccianello della Pieve is a remarkable wine, made with consummate precision, it is powerful and elegant, age worthy and collectable. It is one of our favourite wines, not least due to the alluring price point. Monica Larner of the Wine Advocate states that Fontodi is not only one of Italy’s jewels, but ‘one of the finest wine estates in the world.’ Fontodi Flaccianello is one of my favourite wines from anywhere and their Chianti Classico is the finest of its kind. Both offer incredible value for money.
Fontodi Chianti Classico is the finest of its kind and the most highly regarded. It is the Chianti Classico to buy year on year, to be drunk and enjoyed with dinner, or on its own. Stylistically, Fontodi Chianti Classico is weightier than the Chianti paradigm, with more body and fruit focus. However, after a few years in bottle it takes on a Burgundian bravura, combining balance, finesse and power. Today we are delighted to be able to offer a case of six bottles for £80 in bond: at £13.30 per bottle, this could be the best value for money to be found anywhere in Italy and perhaps the world. It also scores incredibly well, awarded 92 and 92+ points in 2010 and 2013 respectively. This would give the 2015 a (POP) of 12.8 – that is the finest POP score on the market.
The Truly Great Flaccianello
Flaccianello is made from 100% Sangiovese, eponymously named after the vineyard Flaccianello della Pieve. The combination of the terroir and attention to detail throughout the winemaking process has led to accolades such as three appearances in the Wine Spectator’s Top 10 Wines of the Year in seven years and aggregate critic scores that compete with Bordeaux’s First Growths.
Their vineyards are located near Panzano, the viticultural epicentre of Chianti and a place close to my heart for its staggering beauty. The vineyards benefit from their position in a naturally occurring amphitheatre, known locally as Conca d‘Oro (the golden shell), with a southern facing aspect and superb marl soil which aids in water retention throughout the warm Summers. Taken together, these conditions fashion grapes with wonderful sugar and tannin potential. The marl soil, elevation and great drainage allow the owners, Marco and Giovanni Manetti, along with the winemaker Franco Bernabei, to harvest grapes with almost perfect ripeness and balance. Marco and Giovanni are brothers and cousins of the original visionaries of the Manetti family who founded Fontodi in 1969, a vineyard that heralds back to the 8th Century.
Flaccianello is one of the greatest wines to come out of Tuscany and has achieved the status as a leading light in Italy. The wine is recognised for its supreme elegance, intensity and capacity for bottle age. In its youth it displays dark cherry, plums, violets, and intoxicating sweet spice flavours of cinnamon with a delightful savoury character, enveloping chocolate, tobacco and almond. With age it resonates with the very best of Sangiovese, taking on notes of liquorice, smokiness, rosemary and flavours that turn my head; porcini mushroom and truffle.
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