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July 24, 2015

Fontodi Chianti Classico 2011 and 2012

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Fontodi is a Tuscan powerhouse! Its famous Flaccianello della Pieve is one of the most central and important single varietal Super Tuscans, their Vigna del Sorbo is peerless receiving 98 points from Antonio Galloni in 2010. Fontodi is known for synthesizing Italy’s traditional characteristics of Sangiovese with modern vinification techniques and this is represented brilliantly in their Chianti Classico. Fontodi Chianti Classico is amongst the finest of its kind and the most highly regarded. It is the Chianti Classico to buy perennially, to be drunk and enjoyed with dinner, or on its own. Universally loved by the world’s leading critics, it continuously scores 90-93 points, a remarkable tally for a wine that costs under £12 per bottle!

The grapes are selected from their vineyards near Panzano, the viticulural epicentre of Chianti. 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, originally from a vineyard that heralds back to the 8th Century.

Fermentation and maceration are undertaken for 25 days in temperature controlled stainless steel vats. They use the punching down method, with the temperature reaching 30°C  in order to extract natural power, finesse and tannic structure. Once they are happy with the extraction, the wines are racked, in 225 litre French oak barrels, using a percentage of the barrels taken from Flaccianello, where they remain for 12 months.

In my opinion, despite its renown, it is one of the most undervalued wines the world over. We are delighted to be able to offer the newest release, the 2012 today, along with a small parcel of the 2011. The 2011 was scored 93 points by James Suckling, 92 from the Wine Spectator and 90 from Antonio Galloni. The 2012 has only been scored by The Jancis, who rates it above the 2011, scoring it 17++, very high praise indeed.  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…nice! In terms of Chianti this is as good as it gets, Fontodi could double their price, but Giovanni Manetti wants them to remain affordable and Fontodi Chianti Classico takes pride of place in many leading restaurants in Chianti and Italy. The old adage goes that one should look to dine at restaurants were the locals eat. Well, Fontodi Chianti Classico is what the locals drink.

Fontodi Chianti Classico 2012, 12x75cl, £140  and 2011, 12x75cl, £140 or £197.52 incl duty and VAT
Special Offer: A Case of Both for £260 IB, or £371.04 DP 
James Suckling – 93 Points
Aromas of dried tangerines and plums with hints of flowers. Full body with ultra-fine tannins and a delicious balsamic, dark-fruit and plum character. Savory and delicious. From organically grown grapes. Drink or hold.

Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media -  90 Points
Dark red cherry, stone fruits, smoke, tobacco and cloves meld together in the 2011 Chianti Classico. Rich, ample and broad on the palate, the 2011 captures the ripeness of the year, yet still retains a good measure of freshness. Unlike most vintages, the 2011 will drink well pretty much right out of the gate. The style is dark, brooding and imposing.

To buy this wine please click here.