The Inside Story from Italian Wine Merchants

Expert Picks: Montevertine and Fontodi

Posted on | May 19, 2015 | Written by Camacho Vidal | No Comments

CamachoSangiovese is considered the grape that defines Italian wine. The most planted grape varietal in Italy, one in every 10 vines in Italy is Sangiovese, and it is the core of some of the country’s greatest wines. The Sangiovese grape adjusts to its environment, allowing for very different tasting wines that express their region’s terroir, providing a range of delicate floral strawberry aromas to intensely dark earthy and tannic wines.

Two Sangiovese purists are Fontodi and Montevertine. Fontodi’s Flaccianello and Montevertine’s Le Pergole Torte are both mono-varietal Sangiovese and both are elegant and expressive Sangiovese wines. Fontodi is located in the heart of Chianti Classico, south of the town of Panzano, in a region called the “Conca d’Oro” (the golden shell) because of its amphitheatre shape. A certified organic estate, Fontodi has been making wine since 1968. Montevertine lies within the heart of the Chianti hills, in the community of Radda at an altitude of 425 meters above sea level. This high altitude allows the Sangiovese to retain its perfect acidity and show a bright clean expression. Sergio Manetti purchased Montevertine in 1967 as a vacation house. As a hobby, he planted two hectares of vines and built a small cellar, with an idea of making wine for family and friends. As his enthusiasm grew, Sergio decided to dedicate all his efforts exclusively to winemaking.

The passion and respect for Sangiovese is very present in both of these wines, and if you’re a real Italian wine enthusiast, you owe it to yourself to experience both of these great Sangiovese expressions.

Montevertine 2008 Le Pergole Torte $129.99

This wine is all about elegance. The nose is full of dense black fruits, spices, slight earthiness, and smoky mineraity. With some air, you get forest notes and cocoa mixed with black cherries. The palate is firm with raspy tannins and a well-integrated sharp acidity that lingers nicely. The 2008 is approachable now with some air, but it’ll keep in the cellar. Drink now and for the next decade.

Fontodi 1999 Flaccianello $179.99

I’ve tasted this vintage a few times and each time it surprises me with something new. This ’99 Flaccianello’s nose is full of dried roses, hints of tobacco and earth with soft wood notes in the background, but then black cherry and strawberry notes pop out of the glass. The palate is super silky with great acidity and well-balanced tannins with a nice long finish. Drink now.


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