Fontodi Flaccianello (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2007
Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy
#8 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2010
Flaccianello combines all the wild and old-world characteristics of the Sangiovese grape with the modern vinification techniques of what may be the top winemaking house in Tuscany today. The wine is like a taming and training of a beautiful black mustang stallion that has spent just enough time in the wild to retain its fiery disposition. It opens up with brambly notes of berries and currants, cloves, lavender, violets and a hint of bittersweet chocolate. I wonder at the grace of the wine as I delight in the first sip that is supple and cool on the mouth but full of warm flavors that light up the palate with bright notes of cherries and strawberries, tempered with touches of earthy leather and cherry-nut chutney. The wine crashes into the mid-palate on a wave of currants, blackberries, and more, riper straw-berries as it balances itself at the same time on pure tannins and pinch or two of new, vanilla oak. The finish…oh the finish…Well made Sangiovese never disappoints and the Flaccianello rolls on and on seemingly forever. Finally it fades with light herbal notes…a hint of mint…a dash of licorice basil…then it's gone like a shooting star winking out in the night sky.
The Wine Advocate - "I tasted the 2007 Flaccianello a number of times from barrel and tank before it was bottled. The 2007 is a bold, extroverted Flaccianello that sweeps across the palate with sensual layers of candied cherries, violets, spices and minerals. Dark, mentholated notes develop in the glass, adding further dimensions of inner sweetness, weight and complexity to this Tuscan thoroughbred. While so many 2007s are forward and open, Flaccianello remains muscular, taut and in need of significant cellaring. Still, the round, enveloping finish augurs extremely well for the future. Flaccianello is a selection of the estate's finest Sangiovese and is aged in French oak. Anticipated maturity: 2017-2032."
Wine Spectator - "A generous Sangiovese, with loads of blackberry, dark cherry and berry on the nose and palate. Full and long. Chewy. The new wood could stand to have a little less barley flavor, but the fruit is fabulous. Takes off on the finish. Best after 2012. "
Fontodi is located in the heart of Chianti Classico precisely in the valley which lies south of the town of Panzano and is called the "Conca d’Oro" (the golden shell) because of its amphitheatre shape. A genuine and characteristc "Terroir," famous for centuries for its tradition of quality wine cultivation, thanks to a unique combination of high altitude, calcar clayschist soil, lots of light, and a fantastic micro-climate. View all Fontodi Wines
About TuscanyView a map of Tuscany wineries (TUSS-can-ee) Sangiovese. Most of the wine coming from Tuscany is made from some clone of this varietal, but a growing trend, started by the renegade winemakers of those Super Tuscans, is to incorporate more international varietals.
Notable FactsThe most well known sub-districts of Tuscany are Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano (note that Montepulciano here refers to the local village, not the grape variety found in the Italian region of Abruzzi). Wine labeled from these regions is DOC-regulated and Sangiovese-based blends. Quality wine from these DOC areas has been on the rise for decades, with top-notch winemakers and wineries shedding the low-quality image once held for Tuscan wine by producing consistently outstanding bottlings that range from deliciously drinkable to highly ageable. Newer to the scene are regions like Bohlgeri and the Maremma, home to of what are now termed "Super-Tuscans," named for the wine coming from the Tuscany area, but not following all of the DOC or DOCG laws required in Italy. In the 1970's, some pioneer winemakers began buying land outside of Chianti and Montalcino, and planting not only Sangiovese, but also international varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The wine they produced only fit into the lowest Italian category of "vina da tavola," but the winemakers sold the wine for high prices, creating an almost cult following, and spurning a new wine category called IGT.
A little ditty about Italy...This country has about as many wines as its had governments. With 20 different regions, hundreds of DOCs and even more indigenous varieties, the amount of wine made in Italy is mind-boggling. Most of the juice, however, remains in the country for thirsty Italians. Wine is food in Italy and its rare that a meal is consumed without a glass of vino. That said, it's not common to find many folks drinking wine without food either. In turn, it's a match, and a mighty good one at that. In fact, it's safe to say that Italian wine is a foodie wine – one that goes on the table for a myraid of meals.
For regions, the most popular are Tuscany (home of Chianti), Piedmont and the Tre-Venezie, which includes Veneto, Trentino Alto-Adige and Friuli. Other communes of note are in Southern Italy, and a few good wines are made elsewhere in the country. The islands of Sardinia and Sicily are members of the Italian winemaking community as well.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.