Just one simple word that causes the hearts of Sangiovese lovers to kick into high gear. When it comes to mono-varietal Sangiovese, is there a better wine than Flaccianello? Naturally that’s a matter of debate, personal preference and even vintage variation. And of course, I’m limiting that generalization to non-Brunello. The fact of the matter is this. If you want pure Sangiovese from Chianti Classico that will consistently perform at an exemplary level, then you cannot go wrong with Flaccianello.
I’ve long been an admirer of Flaccianello and Fontodi in general. One of the earliest experiences I remember with this wine was a dinner tasting featuring the 1985, 1986 and 1990. All were impressive in their own way; and frankly, the lesser regarded 1986 may have pulled an upset that night. The take away is simple. Consistency begets consistency. Quality drives every decision at Fontodi and the finished wines bear this out. My latest tastings of the 2009 and 2012 reinforce this.
It took me a while to locate the 2015 Flaccianello at a price I could stomach. And there’s the unfortunate “catch” when it comes to this wine. For many, it’s already unattainable and that trend doesn’t seem to be slowing. So when I found a few bottles off the beaten track in Italy, I pounced.
The 2015 Fontodi Flaccianello is as spectacular as one might expect given the stellar reputation of the vintage. Yes, I knew it was going to be young and risked it being tight and tannic. But I didn’t care. I wanted to try it as a baby. My insight. Your advantage, right? As a result, we decanted the wine for about 90 mintues.
In the glass, this 100% Sangiovese is a deep garnet red that is nearly impenetrable. After decanting, the wine showcases aromas of crushed wild cherry, fresh blue flowers, cigar tobacco, crushed terra cotta and spices. On the palate, the wine is full bodied and long with ripe cherry notes backed by tobacco, leather and mineral notes. Chewy, with pronounced tannins that assert themselves significantly; this deserves a spot deep in your cellar. The steaks brought out the best in this wine, but it’s got much more to give and a long life ahead. 95+ points. Find this wine.
I’m already seeing offers for the 2016 version of this wine. While I’m certain it’s not fully available at retail, when it is released by distributors I suggest hunting it down. The entry level 2016s I’ve tasted have been delicious and I think the top tier wines will not disappoint. Stay tuned here as always. We’ll have plenty more data points coming.