~ Sangiovese Grosso grapes during veraison on the La Fiorita Estate ~

Spirito Libero!  
If you know La Fiorita’s proprietor, Natalie Oliveros, you know that axiom captures her personality and spirit perfectly.   Last year I had the pleasure of sitting down with Natalie and discussing the new future emerging at La Fiorita.  She’s as captivating as her wines and the passion she and winemaker Roberto Cipresso display are evident in the finished product.

Recently we checked in on one of the  best wines from the estate;  the 2006 Brunello Riserva.   The wine was sourced from the Pian Bassolino vineyard, which possesses South East exposure and an altitude of 350 meters.  Like many areas of Brunello,  the soil in Pian Bassolino is largely composed of galestro, which typically imparts a notable streak of minerality to the wines.

~ The Pian Bassolino Vineyard at La Fiorita ~

Roberto Cipresso ferments the wine in large Slavonian oak casks for an extended maceration of 15-20 days.  The aging regimen is slightly different than most.  Cipresso does not want extended oak aging to risk drying out the freshness of the wine, therefore oak aging is reduced to the 2 year minimum required by law and bottle aging is extended prior to release.  The 2006 was aged for 12 months in new and used French Barrique and then 12 months in Slavonian cask before being bottled. 

The 2006 Riserva displays a deep ruby to garnet color.  The aroma is enticing at once with abundant crushed black cherry, licorice, spice, new leather and roasted coffee notes.  I love it!  On the palate the wine is a forward, more modern approach to Brunello with ripe dark red fruit flavors that are framed by powdered cinnamon,  dusty minerals and a finish of ripe pipe tobacco.  Against Lamb Shank Osso Bucco, it was a match made in heaven.   Not everyone who loves Brunello will appreciate this style,  but we thoroughly enjoyed it.   95 points.  About $65.

~ La Fiorita Brunello Riserva 2006 ~


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