2007 Castello di Fonterutoli "Ser Lapo" Chianti Classico Riserva (Elsewhere $30)

SKU #1079804 95 points James Suckling

 Blueberry and sandalwood aromas, with loads of subtle fruit. Full body, with super velvety tannins and a long, long finish. This is classy and focused. Gorgeous wine. Best Chianti Classico ever from here. Drink now or hold.  (12/ 2011)

90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2007 Chianti Classico Riserva Ser Lapo is a deep, plush wine graced with layers of dark red fruit. The tannins are quite ripe and sweet, adding to an overall impression of elegance that builds toward the round finish. As good as this is, I expected more from Fonterutoli considering the prestige of the Riserva and the greatness of the year. On the other hand, the 2007 is much improved over the 2006. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2025.  (8/ 2011)

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Price: $25.99

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By: Greg St. Clair |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 7/24/2012  | Send Email
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I visited this winery last September and it turned out to really be an eye opener. I’ve been tasting these wines for…. a long time and they were always classic with a modern twist but even after having had many trips to the winery over the last decades and tasting every vintage I wasn’t prepared for the quality jump. Starting in 2006 the Mazzei family built a new winery after doing years of research for what was best for their vineyards as well as how to handle the wines in the cellar, it was partially open for the 2006 vintage but the first complete vintage was in 2007. It doesn’t hurt to have a spectacular vintage like 2007 to emphasize your new winemaking facility that allows more individual care. The Mazzei family owns 120 different parcels of vineyard land around the village of Fonterutoli (BTW pronounced Fon te ROO toli) and the new winery has 120 different fermentation tanks to be able to coax the best out of each parcel without any worry as to space or time during the harvest. There are a series of new techniques they are doing in the winemaking but truthfully I find it takes away from what the wine is and what the Mazzei family is trying to do. They want their wines to taste like they come from their little piece of Tuscany and not be thought of as made; in the past although I liked their wines they lacked that feeling of place what Italians are now calling genius loci “the distinctive atmosphere or pervading spirit of a place”, a little beyond terroir. The 12 months the wine spent in barrique is the same as in the 2005 but the 2007 has so much more depth, originality, the fruit is more real, complex and energetic. I was really taken aback at the quality jump and the purity and wildness of the wine while still enamored with its lush body rolling across my palate you’re going to love this wine. You can drink it now or it will age for another decade, Enjoy!
Drink from 2012 to 2022

Additional Information:

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:

Chianti

- Chianti is the most famous wine name in Italy is not the name of a grape but actually a region. Chianti lies in the 35 miles of hills between Florence and Siena, a complex geological region as well as geographically. The extraordinary geography makes grape growing a very challenging feat with multiple exposures and soil types on the same estate. The region comprises 9 different communes not dissimilar to Bordeaux wherein each commune has a particular characteristic that shows in the wine. The wine is made predominantly Sangiovese, the grape must comprise at least 80% of the blend. Chianti Classico is the "classic" region, though many other nearby regions now use the name "Chianti" to make similar wines. The "Gallo Nero" or Black Rooster on many of the Chianti Classico bottles is a private consortium of producers who try and control the direction of production and quality amongst their members.
Alcohol Content (%): 13.5