2009 Fontodi "Flaccianello" Toscana (Pre-Arrival)

SKU #1144016 96 points Wine Spectator

 *Top 100 Wines 2012* The first impression of this red is purity and finesse, as black currant, raspberry and violet aromas and flavors stay focused and persistent. An earthy leather element and mineral notes chime in on the finish, backed by a vibrant structure. Sangiovese. Best from 2015 through 2032.  (10/ 2012)

95 points James Suckling

 A structured red with polished tannins and subtle vanilla, chocolate and currant character on the nose and palate. Full body, with integrated tannins and a compacted palate. Builds on the palate. Muscular and intense. Needs until 2015 to soften. Try it then.  (8/ 2012)

94 points Antonio Galloni

 The 2009 Flaccianello is gorgeous, but the relative shortcomings of the year relative to the sublime 2010 are apparent when the wines are tasted side by side. Firm tannins support a core of dark red fruit, smoke and crushed flowers. Readers will need to give the 2009 time to settle down, but it is unquestionably a fine Flaccianello.  (8/ 2013)

94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 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 wineís 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. This complete vertical of Fontodiís 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 estateís 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... 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%.  (6/ 2012)

94 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 (100% sangiovese): Deep red-ruby. Enticing aromas of plum, cherry and graphite, with hints of tar and wild herbs. Then sweet but not overripe or heavy on the palate, offering bright flavors of plum and redcurrant. Plenty of soil character and fine-grained tannins on the the multilayered, nicely structured finish. This wine magically combines sweetness, flesh and refinement--no small feat--and is an amazingly pure example of sangiovese.  (7/ 2012)

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Varietal:

Sangiovese

- The most widely planted grape in Italy is Sangiovese, a high-acid grape with moderate to high tannins, apparent earthiness and subtle fruit. It is thought to have originated in Tuscany and its name, which translates to "blood of Jove," leads historians to believe it may date all the way back to the Etruscan period, though historical mentions only go as far back as the early 1700s. Though planted all over modern Italy, the most significant wines made from Sangiovese still come from Tuscany: Chianti and Brunello di Montalcino. Sangiovese must make up 75% of a blend from the Chianti DOCG t be labeled as such, traditionally allowing for Canaiolo, Trebbiano and Malvasia for the remainder, though more recently small proportions of Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot have been allowed. In Brunello di Montalcino the wine must be made entirely of Sangiovese. Prugnolo is Montepulciano's name for Sangiovese, and it is used there for the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano wines. In the DOC of Carmignano Sangiovese can be blended with 20% Cabernet Sauvignon. There are also Super Tuscans, IGT wines that blend Sangiovese with large proportions of Cabernet or Merlot. Elsewhere in Italy it is a workhorse grape, though it does find some success (though not the longevity) in the Montefalco and Torgiano wines of Umbria as well as the foundation of Rosso Piceno and a significant element of Rosso Conero from the Marches. Like Nebbiolo, Sangiovese has struggled to find footing outside of Italy, though in recent years California wineries have been having better fortune with grape plantings in the Sierra Foothills/El Dorado County, as well as Sonoma County and the Central Coast.
Country:

Italy

- Once named Enotria for its abundant vineyards, Italy (thanks to the ancient Greeks and Romans) has had an enormous impact on the wine world. From the shores of Italy, the Romans brought grapes and their winemaking techniques to North Africa, Spain and Portugal, Germany, France, the Danube Valley, the Middle East and even England. Modern Italy, which didn't actually exist as a country until the 1870s, once produced mainly simple, everyday wine. It wasn't until the 1970s that Italy began the change toward quality. The 1980s showed incredible efforts and a lot of experimentation. The 1990s marked the real jump in consistent quality, including excellence in many Region that had been indistinct for ages. The entire Italian peninsula is seeing a winemaking revolution and is now one of the most exciting wine Region in the world. For our entire Italian wine selection, click here. Click for a list of bestselling items from all of Italy.
Sub-Region:

Tuscany

Specific Appellation:

Super Tuscan