~ Le Filigare is a small hamlet in Barberino Val d’Elsa ~

The Le Filigare estate sits atop a large hill in Chianti Classico between Siena and Florence.  A tiny hamlet unto itself, Le Filigare dates back to the XI century and was known in the area as Fiaccole di Sopra. Derived from a slang term which means “upper torch”,  the hamlet with its dominant position atop the hill, used to be lit with torches during the commemoration of the Patron Saint so locals could gather to celebrate.

The estate enjoys wonderful terroir  as its vineyards sit between 400 and 500 meters above sea level. At this altitude there is very little chance of fog or frost, which can encourage rot and damage the vines.  The gentle slopes of the vineyards are exposed to the South while to the North a dense wooded area provides shelter from harsher winds. In essence, the perfect enclave.

Le Filigare’s 11 hectares of vineyards are devoted almost entirely to Sangiovese (90%) though a smaller percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah are also planted.

~ Early season vineyard work at Le Filigare; visible is the wood that shelters the vineyards ~

Le Filigare produces about 40,000-50,000 bottles of wine per year in total production and crafts 5 distinct wines.  As with wines from higher altitude vineyards, the balance for aging is optimally achieved.  Today we’re spotlighting the flagship wine of the estate which is comprised of 90% Sangiovese and 10% Cabernet.   The bottle was decanted and enjoyed at Trattoria Zero Otto Nove and hails from the excellent 1999 vintage.

The 1999 Le Filigare Podere Le Rocce looks astonishingly youthful despite its 18 years of age.  In the glass, it’s a deep garnet red with almost no lightening at the rim of the bowl.  In the decanter, one can observe a bricking edge.

Immediately expressive, the wine displays aromas of dark reduced cherry, cigar tobacco, cedar and dried porcini mushrooms.  I love the aromas.  On the palate, the wine is refined and smooth.  The tannins have completely melted away and the texture of the wine is velvety and long.  Flavors of cherry, chestnut, baking spices and fennel (on the finish) are easy to delineate.  This bottle was packed with sediment so decanting is required.  I don’t think I’d wait any longer to drink these. It’s very nice, but I don’t see it improving with cellaring.  90 points.  Current vintages sell from the winery for $30 Euro.  This was $68 from the wine list.  Good value.  Find this wine.

~ Le Filigare is a blend of 90% Sangiovese and 10% Cabernet ~

Salute!

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