Fontodi Flaccianello della Pieve is one of my favourite wines the world over. It offers incredible balance, power and elegance, at an extremely attractive price on release. The only downside is that production is small and its price rises quickly as soon as it is in bottle. We are always on the lookout for parcels of Flaccianello and today we are delighted to be able to offer the 2011 at the original release price. The 2011 is a wonderful wine, Monica Larner of Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate says of it, ‘I’m not sure how Fontodi does it, but this edition of Flaccianello is simply beautiful. It is a seamless expression with lingering tones of red cherry, coffee, spice, truffle and red rose that flow harmoniously into unison’.
Flaccianello 2011 is a triumph, awarded 95 points by Monica Larner (ML) and James Suckling (JS) and 94 from Antonio Galloni (AG). As one can see from the table below, Fontodi only make exceptional Flaccianellos and it is hard to choose a vintage. However, at this price point it is a wine to buy every year, as it rewards so much, in terms of drinking pleasure and price increases. The 2011 vintage at today’s price of £37.50 a bottle in bond, has the joint lowest Price of Points score of any vintage, with the exception of the newly released 2012. We so rarely manage to find parcels; it is worth stocking up now, the price of Flaccianello rises quickly within only a few years.
Flaccianello is made from 100% Sangiovese, eponymously named after the vineyard Flaccianello della Pieve. The combination of the terrior and attention to detail throughout the wine making process has led to accolades such as three appearances in Wine Spectator’s Top 10 Wines of the Year in seven years and aggregate critic scores that compete with Bordeaux’s First Growths. Flaccianello has a maximum output of 5,000 cases a year and allocations are highly sought after.
Their vineyards are located near Panzano, the viticultural epicentre of Chianti and a place close to my heart for its staggering beauty. The vineyards benefit from their position in a naturally occurring amphitheatre, known locally as Conca d‘Oro (the golden shell), with a southern facing aspect and superb marl soil, which aids in water retention throughout the warm summers. Taken together, these conditions fashion grapes with wonderful sugar and tannin potential. The marl soil, elevation and great drainage allow the owners Marco and Giovanni Manetti along with the winemaker Franco Bernabei to harvest grapes with almost perfect ripeness and balance. Marco and Giovanni are brothers and cousins of the original visionaries of the Manetti family who founded Fontodi in 1969, a vineyard that heralds back to the 8th century.
Flacianello is one of the greatest wines to come out of Tuscany and has achieved the status as a leading light in Italy. The wine is recognised for its supreme elegance, intensity and capacity for bottle age. In its youth it displays dark cherry, plums, violets, and intoxicating sweet spice flavours of cinnamon with a delightful savoury character, enveloping chocolate, tobacco and almond. With age it resonates the very best of Sangiovese, taking on notes of liquorice, smokiness, rosemary and flavours that turn my head; porcini mushroom and truffle.
James Suckling, 95 Pts
The blackberry, currant, nutmeg and chocolate aromas follow through to a full body, with velvety tannins and lots of savory fruit. Some balsamic and citrus fruit underneath it all. Needs a little time to soften. Pure sangiovese. From organically grown grapes. Better in 2016.
Monica Larner, The Wine Advocate, 95 Pts
The 2011 Flaccianello della Pieve is 100% Sangiovese aged 24 months in new French oak and two months in large oak cask. I’m not sure how Fontodi does it, but this edition of Flaccianello is simply beautiful. It is a seamless expression with lingering tones of red cherry, coffee, spice, truffle and red rose that flow harmoniously into unison. In the mouth, the wine shows great opulence and textural richness that is pushed forward by the stylistic softness of the tannins and the wine’s inner freshness. Pretty menthol tones appear on the finish. Drink: 2015-2030.
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