2009 Fontodi "Flaccianello" Toscana (Pre-Arrival)
*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.
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.
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.
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%.
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.