2011 Felsina "Fontalloro" Toscana (Elsewhere $55)

SKU #1288298 95 points James Suckling

 Aromas of dark chocolate, berries, toasted nuts and vanilla bean follow through to a full body, firm tannins and a juicy finish. Lots of intense, beautiful fruit. Tight, layered red. All there. Better in 2017.  (11/2014)

94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2011 Fontalloro is a pure expression of Sangiovese with fruit sourced from the Chianti Classico area and the Colli Senesi area. It ages in new and once-used barrique for up to 22 months. Aromas flow with authority, spanning a large swath of fruit and oak-related attributes. The best part, however, is the aromatic layering: Slices of bright cherry fruit, dark chocolate, polished river stone and tilled earth peel back fluidly. It shows a superior sense of integration and balance. (ML)  (10/2014)

94 points Vinous

 Felsina's 2011 Fontalloro is wonderfully expressive today. Dark red cherry, plum, smoke, rose petal and sweet spices all blossom in the glass. Impeccably layered and sensual, the 2011 captures all the best qualities of the year. Sweet floral and red-toned notes burst with great energy on the structured finish. Fontalloro seems to have come a long way over the last few years. The 2011 is another drop-dead gorgeous beauty. (AG)  (9/2014)

94 points Wine Spectator

 A firm, linear red, featuring black cherry, black currant, leather, tobacco and tar notes on a dense frame. This persistent version builds to a long fruit-, spice- and mineral-tinged aftertaste. Combines power and finesse, and should age beautifully. Sangiovese. Best from 2017 through 2027. (BS)  (2/2015)

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Price: $39.99
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Staff Image By: Sharon Kelly | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/24/2018 | Send Email
There isn't much more I can say about the flavor profile of this wine that hasn't already been described by my colleagues so I will contribute this: this is a wine to enjoy now as it's sitting in its perfect drinking window. All of the elements are balanced and completely satisfying on the palate and I can't keep my nose out of the glass. Fantastic.

Staff Image By: Mike Parres | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/17/2018 | Send Email
This boasts a deep ruby/purple color, lots of black cherries, raspberries, and currants with hints spice, Tuscan dust and minerals. There is a great texture on this full- bodied wine; it has a long, authoritative finish that combines power with elegance. I would drink this now and over the next couple of years.

Staff Image By: John Downing | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/26/2017 | Send Email
The Super Tuscan category is a great place to look for value these days and Felsina produces one of the finest Sangiovese based wines in the zone. Their 'Fontalloro' is a selection of high and low altitude fruit that weds the best characteristics of Sangiovese. That, coupled with the warmth of the 2011 vintage, make this exceptional to drink now or hold for a few years. It's surprisingly fresh for the vintage and brimming with ripe, flavorful and densly packed fruit. We're glad we went long on this one.

Staff Image By: Greg St. Clair | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/23/2017 | Send Email
The nose of this wine is gorgeous; it shows a bit more ripeness, more dark plum, cocoa with bits of dried flower. On the palate this wine has the richness that one would expect from a warmer vintage like 2011 but this isn’t a wine that is over-ripe at all, it just gives it a bit more flesh and breadth and there is a silky presence on the palate. The flavors are deep, chocolaty with delicate hints of barrel spice; Fontalloro only goes in second year barrique, followed by bits of earth, leather and cigar ash. This wine has structure, it’s just not a flaccid fruit bomb it has tannin, power and a long life ahead of it.
Drink from 2017 to 2030

Staff Image By: Andrew Stevens | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/16/2017 | Send Email
Beautiful Sangiovese that remarkably can either be enjoyed now or placed in a cellar for a few years. In 2011 the ripeness of the vintage lead to beautiful easy to enjoy friendly wines that are not necessarily the ones to lay down, but the restraint and elegance shown by the Fontalloro allows this bottling to do a bit of both. Lovely red fruit with savory herb, licorice, and chocolate are matched by long tannins with plenty of acid to help give the wine structure and length. While there is a density to the wine it stills pulls off being fresh and energetic, truly a great find.

Staff Image By: Gary Norton | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/26/2017 | Send Email
Savory red fruit, dried herbs, mocha and leather are the hallmarks of this wine. Great restraint and length here as well, especially considering how hot 2011 was in Tuscany. It's a vintage that demands some selectivity, depending on what characteristics you gravitate towards. With a few years of bottle age on it already, the wine still has plenty left in the tank. Ten years at least in my opinion. There is no shortage of price to value ratio here - a true drink or hold.

Staff Image By: Ryan Moses | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/26/2017 | Send Email
Produced for nearly three decades, Fontalloro remains one of the reference-point examples of pure Sangiovese, and one of the few that you can still find for such an immensely reasonable price considering its pedigree. On the nose it is textbook Sangiovese all the way with strawberry, licorice, and a touch of vanilla and leather. Superb purity on the palate, it has a core of bright red cherry, red plum, and mouthwatering acidity that sustains a clean and lingering finish. It is texturally seamless and barely showing any age at all approaching six years from the vintage. All of these pieces culminate in a wine that will age gracefully for the next fifteen-plus years (although even as a pop-and-pour right now it is extremely dynamic and rewarding). A superb vintage of Fontalloro.

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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.


Specific Appellation:

Super Tuscan