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2001 Fontodi "Flaccianello della Pieve" Toscana

SKU #1043707 98 points Wine Spectator

 Tasted from magnum. Now on the plateau of maturity, boasting sweet cherry, plum, sandalwood and spice bouquet. This is beautifully integrated, with fruit, spice, tobacco and tea flavors, very vigorous and long, yet with plenty to give. Kept improving with air. Drink now through 2030. (BS, Web Only-2014)

95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2001 Flaccianello della Pieve marks a turning point, as it is the first Flaccianello to be made as a selection of the estate’s best fruit across a number of parcels rather than as a single-vineyard wine. Black cherries, plums, smoke, licorice and tobacco are some of the notes that burst from the glass in this virile, massive Flaccianello. A hint of sweet toasted oak reminiscent of the 1990 lingers on the finish. This is a great showing, but readers will have to be patient. Anticipated maturity: 2016-2031. (AG)  (6/2012)

94 points Decanter

 In 2001, Flaccianello morphed from single-vineyard to parcel selection. At the time, Fontodi was still in organic conversion and Flaccianello was aged for 24 months in 100% new French oak. Summer conditions were ideal, with high daytime temperatures and cool nights. The aromas are suitably developing and downright seductive, the notes of leather, tobacco, black tea and a suggestion toast leading to a sweet and savoury palate where fennel and spice mingle with irony earth. Fine-grained tannins and a medium-weight body make this an absolute pleasure to drink now. (MM)  (10/2018)

K&L Notes

Antonio Galloni delves into the details on the Flaccianello: "This complete vertical of Fontodi's 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 estate's 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. Today Flaccianello is 100% Sangiovese, but the first vintages up to and including 1984 have 15% white grapes, as was common at the time. 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%." (Wine Advocate, 6/2012)

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Price: $179.99
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- 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.


- 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.