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Fontaleoni Vernaccia Di San Gimignano 2013

Vernaccia from Tuscany, Italy
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    Winemaker Notes

    A lively dry white wine from the area surrounding the medieval town of San Gimignano in Tuscany which has a rich history dating back to at least 1286. San Gimignano is famous for its centuries-old towers that dot the town, erected as safeguards to see approaching enemies. Vernaccia di San Gimignano was also the first DOC wine to be declared in Italy, in 1966.

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    Fontaleoni

    Fontaleoni

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    Fontaleoni, Tuscany, Italy
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    Aziena Agricola Fontaleoni is a small estate whose vineyards are located at 200 meters above sea level, the ideal altitude for growing the Vernaccia varietal. It was established in 1959 when the Trioani family, vignerons for generations, moved to Tuscany. Restructured in the nineties, the cellar was renovated and new vineyards were planted in order to produce high-quality wines. Low yields of grapes, careful harvest and pressing of this fragile grape and conscientious winemaking, have produced Vernaccia wines that continues to grow in quality and fame every year since the first bottling, in 1994. Clearly, this is a estate to keep watching!

    One of the most iconic Italian regions for wine, scenery and history, Tuscany is the world’s most important outpost for the Sangiovese grape. Ranging in style from fruity and simple to complex and age-worthy, as well as in price from budget-friendly to ultra-premium, Sangiovese makes up a significant percentage of plantings here, with the white Trebbiano Toscano coming in second.

    Within Tuscany, many esteemed wines have their own respective sub-zones, including Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. The climate is Mediterranean and the topography consists mostly of picturesque rolling hills, scattered with vineyards.

    Sangiovese at its simplest produces straightforward pizza-friendly wines with bright red fruit and not much more, but at its best it shows remarkable complexity. Top-quality Sangiovese-based wines can be expressive of a range of characteristics such as sour cherry, balsamic, dried herbs, leather, fresh earth, dried flowers, anise and tobacco. Brunello expresses well the particularities of vintage variations and is thus popular among collectors who like to cellar the same wine over multiple years. Chianti is associated with tangy and food-friendly dry wines at various price points. A more recent phenomenon as of the 1970s is the “Super Tuscan”—a wine made from international grape varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Syrah, with or without Sangiovese. These are common in Tuscany’s coastal regions like Bolgheri, Val di Cornia, Carmignano and the island of Elba.

    Vernaccia

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    Vernaccia's intricate history has roots in San Gimignano, whose main village’s quaint restaurants and steep pedestrian-only cobblestone streets make it as romantic—if not more—as any other Tuscan village. The idyllic countryside upon which this vine grows was actually named Italy’s first DOC in 1966. The 13th century marks its first written record and the grape was celebrated widely in literature, for example in poems by Dante and Franseco Redi.

    Sapid with a mineral persistence, Vernaccia also offers up generous amounts of white peach and melon. It has lovely floral qualities, plenty of verve on the palate and often a fresh note of green almond. Vernaccia goes with so many dishes including cooked or raw fish, puff pastry appetizers and hard-to-pair vegetables like asparagus and artichoke.

    PIOITFO_WVG14_2013 Item# 142452