~ Flaccianello famiglia ~

It’s Friday and I’m in a good mood heading into a long vinous and sunshine filled weekend, so I’ll just say it.  Flaccianello is the best 100% Sangiovese Tuscan.  Yeah, I know.  There are others that you can argue and debate. I can hear it already.  Percarlo, Fontalloro, Cepparello, Le Pergole Torte.  They’re excellent.  I’ve had them all in many vintages and many rest in my cellar.  But Flaccianello consistently accomplishes something that none of the aforementioned wines do.  It has the unique ability to blend power, finesse and elegance all at once. It does so across vintages and that’s another statement I can make – I have never been let down by a bottle of Flaccianello.  I can’t say that about any of the other wines mentioned above.  So I reiterate, it’s my favorite and it’s the best.  So there.

~ The courtyard at the Fontodi Estate. Through the opening on the right are the offices and the tasting room. And oh that lemon tree… it perfumes the entire courtyard ~

I visited the Fontodi Estate in May and had a wonderful tasting and tour with Reena and Giovanni Manetti.  We discussed the philosophy of organic winemaking, the recent frosts, the 2014 vintage and the history of Flaccianello.  That will all be the subject of a separate article.  That day, we tasted several vintages of Flaccianello one of which was the 2009 which I purchased and lugged home.  After allowing it about a month to rest from the journey (and a long month it was)  I finally took one to a local Trattoria.

~ The valley of the Conca d’Oro forms part of the Fontodi Estate. This vineyard and olive grove lie adjacent to the winery ~

The 2009 Fontodi Flaccianello was well rested indeed.   On the advice of Giovanni we chose not to decant the wine, but rather open it about 30 minutes before dinner and allow it to unfold as the meal progressed.   The wine is a deep ruby that trends close to garnet at the center of the bowl.  Immediately you are struck by the aromas of the wine.  They are so pronounced, complex and discernible that I sat there playing with the wine for several minutes until my wife said “You haven’t tasted it yet?”   Color me guilty.   Crushed cherry, fresh flowers, terra cotta, cypress, sweet tobacco and dried fennel permeate the air around the top of the bowl.  It’s magnificent.

On the palate, there is no let up. The flavors follow the nose and add dusty, minerally white road, and just a hint of mushroom.  Concentrated, ripe and elegant, the wine sits on your palate for minutes after you swallow caressing your mouth with finely woven tannins and mouth watering acidity.  Can you still cellar this wine?  Absolutely.  But it doesn’t need it.  Quite simply, a masterpiece and everything I expect.  96 points.  About $125 US retail which is sadly very expensive.  That alone was a motivating factor to purchase directly at the estate where the wine is $60 Euro and comes with the pleasure of perfect provenance.

~ Flaccianello is a must have for Tuscan wine lovers ~

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Salute! e Buon fine settimana.

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