Fontodi - Flaccianello della Pieve

96 points - The Wine Advocate
100 points - The Wine Advocate
95 points - The Wine Advocate
96 points - The Wine Advocate
Fontodi - Flaccianello della Pieve - 2017 - 75cl - Onshore Cellars

Fontodi - Flaccianello della Pieve

96 points - The Wine Advocate
100 points - The Wine Advocate
95 points - The Wine Advocate
96 points - The Wine Advocate
Vintage
Size
Regular price €254.40
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The Fontodi 2017 Flaccianello della Pieve is a standout wine of the dry vintage. This pure Sangiovese opens to a dark garnet colour with more visible concentration and density compared to recent past editions. This is a beautiful wine with pliant tannins, dark fruit richness, balanced acidity and a fruit-forward 15% alcohol content. The wine is big and bold when weighed on the Flaccianello scale (and even more so when weighed on the Sangiovese scale) with dark cherry, plum, spice, violet, chalk, and campfire ash. Despite that power and inner opulence, this wine adds that zesty Sangiovese character with fresh acidity and an energized approach. This Flaccianello is whole and complete with the natural firmness and structure to hold it steady during the ageing process. A small part of amphorae-aged fruit is added to the blend.
Fontodi's 2016 Flaccianello della Pieve is a masterpiece. This review represents a composite of notes from two separate tasting sessions, one at the winery and a second bottle tasted repeatedly over the course of 24 hours at my own pace. In the case of the second sample, it ended up in a blind flight next to the 2016 Masseto, and as beautiful as that Merlot-based wine is, this wine paints an even more beautiful portrait of a perfect Tuscan landscape, thanks to that tangy Sangiovese typicity. This vintage shows amazing depth and poise, with a sheer sense of elegance that comes from the undisputed quality of fruit achieved in this balanced vintage. The bouquet opens to dark cherry, blue flower and tilled earth. The tannins are taut, almost crunchy, and the wine offers profound pedigree and persistence that is driven by the evident acidity. That depth is what stands out most. Until the 2013 vintage, Flaccianello was aged in barrique for 24 months. After that vintage, six months of the total aging time is spent in botte instead. This 2016 vintage includes a small part from clay amphorae for the first time. This slight change in the relationship of wine to barrel size has resulted in a more elegant and finessed wine. That point is especially underlined in this vintage. Because of cool spring temperatures during the flowering, yields were reduced by 20% in 2016 compared to 2015.
Whereas the 2011 vintage is overtly ripe, the 2012 Flaccianello della Pieve is slightly more evolved. Instead of sweet ripeness, you get savory ripeness with dried fruit, prune, black licorice, balsam herb, rosemary essence and scorched earth. The 2012 season produced fewer flowers and yields in this vintage were naturally reduced as a result. Like 2011, however, this vintage saw an early harvest thanks to hot and dry conditions during the summer that increased the speed of ripening. This edition reveals more thickness and dense concentration as well, something you notice in the intensity of the mouthfeel and the firmness of the wine's tannic structure.
From an iconic vintage that gave generously to all grape varieties across almost all of Tuscany, this wine ranks high on the Fontodi billboard of greatest hits. The 2010 Flaccianello della Pieve is a rock-solid wine that sits firm and begins to peel slowly, each delicate layer at a time. It puts on quite a show with a solid core of dark fruit followed by smoke, spice, tar, liquorice, and delicate blue flower. On previous tastings of this vintage, I had scored it 97 and 97+ points, respectively. I'm going down one point at this sitting because the wine's fibre has unravelled, ever so slightly, at the edges. It still maintains that solid core, but the wine has taken an important jump forward in its evolution these past three years. Evidently, it is currently in a phase of relaxation and unwinding. Beautifully polished notes of Mediterranean herb and dried mint appear on the long, glossy finish. Giovanni Manetti compares the 2010 vintage to 2006 but considers this vintage slightly more approachable overall.
Type:
Red
Country:
Italy
Region:
Tuscany
Appellation:
Colli della Toscana Centrale IGT
Producer:
Fontodi
Grapes/Blend:
Sangiovese

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