Fattoria Lornano is a tiny estate located west of Castellina in Chianti. Owned by the Pozzoli family since 1904, a pair of relatively recent events has put this Monteriggioni property on the path toward renaissance.
Beginning in 201o, the family began replanting their vineyards. Shortly thereafter, a new underground aging cellar and warehouse were completed. The guiding hand intertwined with all of it? Franco and Matteo Bernabei.
Fattoria Lornano is comprised of 180 hectares in total, 49 of which are vineyards positioned 300 meters above sea level. The estate also features a sizeable agriturismo and an enoteca. The Pizzoli family, led by brothers Nicolo and Galileo, have planted 15 different clones of Sangiovese on the estate. As a result, they are able to carefully blend their Sangiovese based wines to show the intricacies and subtleties that the grape can display.
Last November, I reviewed the 2015 Classico and was very impressed. Given the retail price of approximately $15, this is a wine that could be a “Cellar Sentinel” if you enjoy it. Now, let’s talk about the “purple vinous elephant” in the room.
A contemporary of mine, Luca Maroni, a self described “sensory analyst” based in Rome, has once again bestowed a “97 point” rating on this wine. Why is that a problem? It’s not for me. I’m secure enough in my own palate to heed or ignore other writer’s advice accordingly. But not all of my readers are. Scores are one thing. Many people take them with a grain of salt. They’re a simple benchmark. They are one person’s subjective preference at a given moment in time. However, when the rating becomes part of the wine’s actual label, I pause for a moment.
To me, a wine rated “95 or higher” is a wine of exceptional quality. It possesses complex aromas and flavors, is delicious now, has the ability to age well and is one of the best wines of its type. I really enjoy Fattoria Lornano, but I can’t get there. This isn’t meant to be read as a criticism of Lornano. Far from it actually. It’s meant to let my readers know that I find Luca’s scores a bit inflated and that they should exercise some judgement in their buying. On to the wine.
The 2016 Lornano Chianti Classico is a brilliant shimmering violet color with a trace fade to copper at the edge of the bowl. Immediately upon opening, you are struck by flowers, crushed red berries, hints of toast and tobacco. On the palate, the wine shows excellent balance between acidity and tannins. The crushed red fruit flavors are fresh and juicy. Complexity is added by hints of fennel and chestnut. This is a really nice value relative to its peers. I remember when Felsina was this price – and Fontodi only slightly more – two additional Bernabei clients. I think the future is bright for this estate and I look forward to keeping abreast of them. 93 points. About $15. Find this wine.
This wine appears to be widely available too which is always a plus. Try it and tell me what you think in the Comments section of this article.