It’s hard to believe it’s been almost 2 years since I strolled Fontodi’s vineyards with Giovanni Manetti and tasted through several vintages of his flagship Sangiovese, Flaccianello. When I look back on that visit, I am still struck by the aromatics of the wines and the deft balance between power and finesse that is Flaccianello’s hallmark. It seemed fitting to break the purge with such a red.
Fontodi is both fully organic and biodynamic. Since 1968, the Manetti family has run this exceptional property which extends for over 130 hectares, 80 of which are devoted to vineyards. And Giovanni Manetti is devoted to Sangiovese. Almost 95% of those vineyards are planted to the quintessential Tuscan grape. Giovanni leaves nothing to chance in producing his wines. He told me he believes that “the land is a gift, from God and nature and that he has a moral obligation, a duty even, to cherish and honor what the land provides.” Manetti’s observance of nature even goes beyond our earthly limits. Fontodi also pays particular attention to the phases of the Moon; especially when it comes to bottling. Reena told us that the moon’s elliptical orbit affects the earth’s gravity and thus affects liquid. Therefore, the descending moon is considered best for removing sediment and bottling. Guided by that principle, the winery bottles only once per month.
The 2012 Fontodi Flaccianello is a vibrant, deep garnet ruby color that reflects through the prism of the decanter. It’s noteworthy how consistently this wine portrayed itself from 2017 even if it was a bit more reserved overall.
Deep, focused aromas of crushed red fruits, high toned floral notes, toasted chestnut and crushed cypress needle are obvious and interesting. Decanted for 2 hours, what was initially rather chewy after opening smoothed out with aeration.
On the palate, the wine is full bodied with sapid wild cherry flavors marked by chestnut oak, sweet cigar leaf tobacco and warm baking spices. The sense is both savory and fruit driven. Balanced well, once the meal was finished the tannic nature of the wine was more obvious. From the more classic 2012 vintage this seems a bottle more equipped for the cellar than say examples from warmer years like 2009 or 2011. No rush at all, but do decant if you try one. 94 points. Long life ahead. Find this wine.