Fontodi Flaccianello Vertical Tasting at Wine Watch

Thursday, September 6, 2018 - 07:30 PM

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If reassurances could dull pain, nobody would ever go to the trouble of pressing grapes.

SCOTT LYNCH, The Lies of Locke Lamora
The Manetti family has owned Fontodi since 1969 but has been in Chianti for centuries. Though they have always made wine, their primary business is still the production of Chiantii´s finest terracotta at their factory in Ferrone. Giovanni Manetti has run the property since 1980 and ensures the wines are as meticulously made as the vineyards are immaculately tended. Their 80 hectares of vineyard, 90% of which are Sangiovese, are situated in the prime i´concadi´oroi´ (golden shell) of Panzano, and over the past six years these have been converted to organic viticulture. Giovanni is now following biodynamic principles to obtain the best quality fruit. There are 80 hectares of south facing vineyards, all of which are found in an amphitheatre-shaped valley to the south of Panzano. This shape facilitates the full ripening of the grapes. The stony galestro soils allow for excellent drainage and encourage the vines to put down deep roots.

I just had the 1995 Flaccianello at the Wine Bar a few weeks ago and it was spectacular!!  This old dog was still incredibly fresh and lively and I bet you could hold on to it for another 10+ years.   This offer includes the flagship wine (100% Sangiovese based) Fontalloro going back to the 1995 vintage with many selections in magnum format.  Fontalloro was a single vineyard wine up until the 2004 vintage when it became a selection of the best Sangiovese from the entire property.  It is easy to tell the wines that I like just look on the shelves at Wine Watch, we have 12 vintages of Flaccianello on this offering!! 
And when we have that many vintages in stock of any great wine you know it’s time to put together a 10 year vertical tasting!  So that’s what we have going on Thursday, September 6th at the Wine Bar ten vintages of Flaccianello back to the legendary 1995 vintage!

In fact we have one of the largest selections of Fontodi wines on the planet earth so check out everything that we have in the store on this offering after the new releases from the Most Excellent 2015 vintage. 


Flaccianello Vertical Tasting at Wine Watch
Thursday, September 6th

1995 Fontodi Flaccianello Tuscany
Price: $215.00    Your Price: $189.20    Quantity in Stock: 8

(92 Points) Built for aging. Extremely well made, with concentrated aromas of dried berry, fruit and spices. Full-bodied, with full tannins which are wonderfully fine-tuned and well-integrated. Long, long fruity finish. Best after 2000. 3,500 cases made. “JS Wine Spectator Issue: Dec 15, 1998

1996 Fontodi Flaccianello Tuscany
Price: $215.00    Your Price: $189.20    Quantity in Stock: 9

(93+ Points)  The 1996 Flaccianello della Pieve is very, very tight. Hints of inner sweetness struggle to emerge from beneath an imposing wall of tannin. The 1996 still requires considerable patience, but it starts to open up in the glass and seems to have enough fruit to drink well once the tannins soften. I have to say I am intrigued by the 1996. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2021.

This complete vertical of Fontodi’s flagship 100% Sangiovese Flaccianello was yet another of the remarkable tastings of my recent trip to Tuscany. Flaccianello is an interesting wine because the quality level that is the norm today only really starts around 2001. Prior to that the wines were very good, and sometimes even better than that, but not profound. In 2001 proprietor Giovanni Manetti made the decision to focus on his estate’s best fruit rather than making Flaccianello as a single-vineyard wine. Since then, Flaccianello has routinely been among the most exciting wines in Tuscany. Much of the fruit that now goes into Flaccianello comes from vineyards in the Pecille sub-zone of Panzano with a full southern exposure. Today Flaccianello is 100% Sangiovese, but the first vintages up to and including 1984 have 15% white grapes, as was common at the time. The early vintages up until 1990 spent about one year in French oak barrels, 50% new. In the mid-1990s Manetti increased the period of barrel aging to 18 months with the 1997, and then to 24 months with the 2006. Today the percentage of new barrels is close to 100%.  Wine Advocate #201, Jun 2012

1999 Fontodi Flaccianello Tuscany
Price: $210.00    Your Price: $184.80    Quantity in Stock: 24

(92 points) Made from 100% Sangiovese and aged 12 months in French oak, the 1999 Flaccianello is immensely impressive. Its opaque ruby/purple color is followed by scents of high class French oak intermixed with black cherry liqueur, minerals, spice box, tobacco, and blackberries. Concentrated yet elegant, this sweet, pure, exceptionally long wine can be drunk now, or cellared for 10-12 years. Wine Advocate #144 Dec 2002

2000 Fontodi Flaccianello Tuscany
Price: $145.00    Sale Price: $120.00    Quantity in Stock: 40

(89 Points) The 2000 Flaccianello della Pieve is this estate's prime Sangiovese. The wine is fragrant, floral, and sweet on the nose, focused and precise on the palate with tannins which support and sustain the significant length of the flavors. The elegance of the wine makes it deceptively approachable - 2006 to 2014 should be the optimal drinking period. Wine Advocate # 152, Apr 2004

2005 Fontodi Flaccianello Tuscany
Price: $186.00    Your Price: $163.68   Quantity in Stock: 1

(94 Points) Shows complex and subtle aromas of blackberry, black licorice and cedar, with just a hint of dried spices. Full-bodied, with a wonderful concentration of fruit, chewy tannins and a long, long finish. Powerful and layered. Sangiovese. Best after 2012. 3,000 cases made. –JS Wine Spectator Issue Oct 15, 2008

2007 Fontodi Flaccianello Tuscany
Price: $192.00   Sale Price: $168.96    Quantity in Stock: 2

(95 points) The 2007 Flaccianello della Pieve captures the essence of this great Tuscan vintage. It is a decidedly sexy, opulent wine bursting at the seams with rich red berries, mint and spices. The tannins are present but virtually undetectable under layer after layer of fruit. There is no question the 2007 is seamless, opulent and full-bodied. Readers who prefer more structured wines will gravitate to vintages such as 2001 and 2004. I find the 2007 utterly irresistible. It will also drink better earlier than some of the most classic vintages. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2027.


2009 Fontodi Flaccianello Della Pieve Tuscany
Price: $157.00    Your Price: $138.16

(94 Points) The 2009 Flaccianello della Pieve is a bit of a shock to the palate after 20 older vintages. Still, it is impossible to miss the wine’s striking purity and finesse. Today the 2009 is a bit of a brute, but it should mellow out over the next 5-7 years as the tannins start to soften. Firm tannins frame layers of ripe, juicy fruit in this young, extroverted Flaccianello. Anticipated maturity: 2017-2029. I was in Panzano in mid-August 2009, just as a huge heat wave began to take hold of Northern Italy. Growers were tempted to pick early, but Sangiovese is a late-ripening variety that needs the extra hang time to develop its full range of aromas and flavors. Proprietor Giovanni Manetti waited until late September to start harvesting, and it paid off. His Sangiovese based wines in particular are fabulous in 2009. Wine Advocate #201, Jun 2012

2014 Fontodi Flaccianello Della Pieve Tuscany
Price: $130.00    Your Price: $114.40    Quantity in Stock: 22

(94 Points) Well-marked by toasty, vanilla-scented oak, this red boasts a core of cherry, floral, tobacco and graphite. Pure and intense, with fine harmony. Sangiovese. Best from 2021 through 2040. Wine Spectator

Charcuterie Selection
Osso Bucco Ravioli with white bean puree and sage infused Ciacci Piccolomini extra virgin olive oil
Bistecca Florentina with porcini Sangiovese natural sauce and bacon basted polenta cake

The fee for this tasting is $150 + tax, this includes dinner.   For reservations call 954-523-9463 or e-mail

Please let us know when you make your reservations if you have special dietary restrictions chef Toni is happy to accommodate you.
A bit about Fontodi:

In the beginning there were Fontodi bricks and tiles.  The work comes from fonte di odo, which means a place rich with water.  Brunelleschi’s Florentine cupola was restored with Fontodi tiles.  Ancient and modern day Florentine homes use Fontodi tiles for decoration and for their natural warmth.  The same family made the bricks that pave the Uffizi Galley in Florence.  This family with the same hand and the same will has also been involved with the wine but for a shorter time.  It was Maria, the mother, who took an active part in the winery.  She first got the family interested in wine   They purchased the winery in 1968, and by 1980 the had moved there from Panzano.  It is a difficult land to farm but it yields some of the finest stone and clay for bricks, and tiles, but the finest oils and the most noble wines.

Today, Fontodi is one of the leaders in Chianti, their wines have consistently impressed the critics; from the Gambero Rosso (the Italian wine bible), Robert Parker of The Wine Advocate (the American authority on wine), to The Wine Spectator (the most popular international wine/lifestyle publication), all of these publications have waxed poetic about the wines from this estate.  The estate of Fontodi is on a hill just south of Panzano, from where you can look across the valley towards Rampolla and Cafaqqio.  The gardens are full of Rosemary and in May the cuckoos are noisy.  Since the Manetti family has owned the estate they have undertaken a major renovations of the vineyards.  The young and talented owner, Giovanni Manetti, is one of the most far-sighted and intellectual grower-producers in all of Italy.  His estate is enchanting, not only because of the villa where it is based is spectacularly beautiful, but also because Manetti has consistently made quality the first priority in all areas of the business, from rootstock, to trellising, to hiring the brightest mind in winemaking in all of Italy, Franco Bernabei.  Franco has won more "Glasses" in Gambero Rosso than anyone in the history of the guide.  Manetti’s greatest attribute is his common sense and his commanding personality which makes others stand up and listen. 

The winery focuses its efforts on seven wines.  Two Chianti’s, a Classico and a single vineyard wine called Vigna Del Sorbo.  The Chianti Classico is 100% sangiovese and is the product of traditional winemaking.  The wine is aged for six months in oak barrels, it completes its refinement in the bottle.  It is a graceful, balanced, elegant, and stylish wine, but still easily to enjoy in its youth.  The Vigna Del Sorbo Chianti Classico Riserva is a blend of Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon blended according to traditional methods and matured in small oak casks. 

The flagship wine Flaccianello Della Piave, a 100% Sangiovese based wine which until the 2004 vintage this wine was made from a single vineyard surrounding the age-old parish church in Panzano, but from 2005 on it has become a selection of the best Sangivoese from the entire property.  This wine is made with carefully controlled fermentation and strict temperature control during the initial stages.  It is big and powerful wine yet retains a ripe, soft, seductive character. 

The only white produced here is named Meriggio, it is 100% sauvignon blanc grapes vinified in stainless steel tanks, temperature-controlled and matured on lees for 6 months.  This is the first time this wine has been exported to the U.S. and we are proud to be the exclusive retailer of this wine in South Florida!

Two of the smallest production wines with the Fontodi moniker are the Syrah and Pinot Nero cuvées bottled under the Case Via label. The Pinot Noir reflects the influences on Giovanni's wine education, having grown up at a time when Chianti was a much derided region, and he looked abroad to Burgundy, among other regions, for inspiration. The Pinot Noir vines were planted in 1985, as were the Syrah vines, during a period of youthful experimentation for Manetti.  The Syrah is one of the best examples of this varietal made in Italy and can rival the Flaccianello in quality in great vintages.

Fontodi also makes a Vinsanto, an Italian dessert wine, this is a blend of malvasia and sangiovese grapes which are naturally air dried on straw mats until December.  After a soft pressing the wine is aged for four years in four different kinds of wood (oak, chestnut, cherry and juniper) in cask that vary also in age and capacity.  This wine has a yellow-golden color and a delicate fragrance of honey and hazelnuts.  On the palate it is dry, warm, fragrant but suitably soft.

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