A few months back I reviewed the latest release from Fattoria Lornano, a small artisan property located near the ancient walled town of Monteriggioni. The property is owned and lovingly tended by the Pozzoli family who have invested generously in the estate’s renovation.
Lornano practices sustainable agriculture under the watchful eye of Silvio Campatelli. Specifically, this includes utilizing only natural fertilizers and preservation of natural resources. No chemical fertilizers or man made herbicides are employed. As a result, the equilibrium with the local environment is well balanced for the production of premium grapes.
The property extends over 180 hectares of which only 70 are planted with vines. Of this total, 80% represent 15 various clones of carefully selected Sangiovese grapes. The balance is planted with Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and a small percentage of Trebbiano and Malvasia that Lornano uses for Vin Santo. The vineyards are positioned approximately 300 meters above sea level.
In the wake of my previous reviews, I had the pleasure to speak with Nicolo Pozzoli who graciously provided the samples we’re discussing today. There was a remark he made to me that sticks out in my mind. He said, “Sangiovese needs the bottle”. Here I think the connotation is simple. Often times when Sangiovese is young, it can seem acidic or austere. Bottle age softens those rough edges and allows more complex flavors and aromas to develop. Of course, these are generalizations. However, I think in most cases, it is probably true.
The 2015 Fattoria Lornano Chianti Classico Riserva is a remarkable Sangiovese. Hand selected grapes are vinified in stainless steel vats before spending 20 months in bottle. In the glass, the wine is dark garnet with purple highlights throughout. Aromas of blue flowers, sweet tobacco, newly turned earth and toasted spices join the wonderful cherry notes. Full bodied and juicy, this is long on the palate with ripe cherry flavors, toasted tobacco and dusty, powdery tannins. Hints of dried herbs and fennel appear on the finish. This has wonderful structure and complexity and is quite the value around $25. However, it is not yet fully released. 95 points. Find this wine.
The 2015 Fattoria Lornano Chianti Classico Gran Selezione is also 100% Sangiovese that is vinified in stainless steel before spending 30 months in French barrique. Deep violet in the glass, this actually softens to a copper like hue at the rim of the bowl. Much more savory than the Riserva, this displays aromas of crushed cherry, fennel, dried herbs and toasted vanilla. On the palate, this is filled with savory herb character and is much more austere than the Riserva. Solid core of cherry fruit is backed by tree bark, cigar leaf and dried thyme and oregano notes. The tannin structure here appears much larger, much drier and in further need of softening. I think time will be this wine’s friend. Cellar at least 5 years before trying. Not yet fully released. 92 points. Find this wine.
Lornano continues to impress. As I’ve stated in the past, with the family’s dedication, investments in the new aging cellar and the continued collaboration with the Bernabei’s the future is very bright indeed for this Lornano and its fans.