Showing 25–36 of 81 results

  • Fontodi Flaccianello della Pieve 2019


    “The 2019 Flaccianello della Pieve is another potent wine from Fontodi in this vintage. That said, it has more than enough mid-palate heft and overall intensity to balance its equally imposing tannins. Black cherry, mocha, licorice, lavender, spice and tobacco fill out the layers. The 2019 needs time to integrate its oak and for the imposing tannins to soften. Drinking window: 2026-2044. 94 points

    Proprietor Giovanni Manetti continues to push his estate into new directions. Readers will note the addition of a new wine, the 2019 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Terrazze San Leolino, which emerges from vineyards in Panzano near the San Leolino church. It will be followed next year by the Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Pastrolo, Manetti’s first estate wine from terraced vineyard in Lamole at 640 meters in elevation. Naturally, those wines are works in progress, so it will be a few years before they reach the level of the other wines in the range. The dual flagships Vigna del Sorbo and Flaccianello are quite good in 2019, although they don’t reach the level of the finest years. The Chianti Classico, always a super-Chianti Classico here, is a standout. A reduction of time in small oak, along with a final phase of aging in cask and a greater emphasis in freshness overall are the key drives to the Fontodi style these days.”

    Antonio Galloni, Vinous (06/22)

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    Fontodi Vin Santo 2009 (375ml)


    “The 2009 Vin Santo del Chianti Classico (packaged in a 375-milliliter bottle) is an object of profound beauty. This extremely precious dessert wine pours from the bottle with thick and slow-moving waves of glycerin and sweetened richness. In fact, my fingers are sticking to my keyboard as I write this review. Aged in small caratelli barrels for 84 months, this Vin Santo shows a dark amber color with polished copper highlights. The bouquet is profoundly complex with dried fruit aromas of apricot and pineapple followed by brown sugar, maple syrup, toasted chestnut and savory tobacco. This is a full-bodied dessert wine that spreads over the palate with lasting intensity. In fact, you taste the wine in the mouth for many long minutes after you drink it. A mere 2,500 bottles exist. Drinking window: 2018-2060. 98 points

    The big news in Chianti Classico these past few months is that Fontodi’s Giovanni Manetti has been elected as the new president of the Consorzio Chianti Classico. He takes the reins from Sergio Zingarelli who was president for two very successful mandates that included the introduction of the Chianti Classico Gran Selezione category. I am very happy to hear of this change, mostly because I firmly believe that Giovanni’s genteel and non-confrontational personality will allow for a moment of reflection and unity in a growers’ association that has seen its share of controversy and infighting over the years. A mandate of tranquility would be the least we should expect of this new presidency. The most we can expect, however, is a stronger voice from growers over mapping and the delineation of subzones within the greater appellation, something I have been advocating. Giovanni Manetti and Fontodi represent the pinnacle of quality that can be achieved in this part of Tuscany. That he has become a symbolic head of the region only brings more prestige and pedigree to an appellation that demands our highest respect and admiration.”

    Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (239)

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  • Fontodi Vin Santo 2012 (375ml)


    Review to follow

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  • Gaja Ca’ Marcanda Vistamare 2021


    Review to follow

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  • Gaja Ca’Marcanda Magari 2019


    “The Ca’ Marcanda 2019 Bolgheri Rosso Magari offers a surprisingly subtle side to the three very powerful grapes that make up the blend. These are Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. The bouquet is generous and full, with an intricate embroidery of lavender flower, garden herb, black fruit, spice and tobacco. You might even detect a hint of black olive. Magari is structured and solid but never heavy, and it offers a good sense of fresh acidity that makes for a lively and bright finish. That more acidic vein is neatly folded into ample fruity sweetness and flavor. Drinking window: 2021-2035. 94 points”

    Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (10/21)

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  • Gaja Pieve Santa Restituta Brunello di Montalcino 2017


    “The Gaja family tends twenty-five hectares of vines between Tavernelle in the southwest of Montalcino and the Deserti area in the northeast. However, it’s only the vines in Tavernelle, a warm and dry part of Montalcino which is heavily influenced by the sea, that are used to create Rennina and the single-vineyard Brunello, Sugarille. All of the other fruit goes into making a Brunello which is not submitted for reviews and instead marketed to restaurants. While the family doesn’t have any intention of making any changes to this structure, Giovanni Gaja spoke excitedly about a recent acquisition of five hectares in Bolsignano, a valley in the southeast with a very unique microclimate from their current holdings. This parcel sits at elevations between 350-400 meters in galestro soils, with a large diurnal shift between day and nighttime temperatures. Starting with the 2019 vintage, this fruit will help fuel the estate’s Brunello; yet the area is undergoing a replanting project with another five hectares coming on board over the next few years. Ultimately, with global warming in mind, the Gaja family will now have the ability to blend fruit from both north to south and east to west, allowing them to find balance from vintage to vintage. What’s more, the winery has also begun to slowly introduce large, forty-hectoliter barrels throughout the range, with the goal of finding a balance between them and the tonneaux that they have used prior. In 2016 the Rennina was matured in a mix of 70% two-year-old large casks, with only 30% in tonneaux, while the Sugarille was matured in a mix of 60% two-year-old large casks, with only 40% in tonneaux. In the end, whether in Piedmont, Maremma, Montalcino or Mount Etna, the Gaja family always has a firm eye on the future.”

    Eric Guido, Vinous (11/20)

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  • Giuseppe Gorelli Rosso di Montalcino 2019


    “Spontaneous fermentation in both tronconic oak cask made by Garbellotto and stainless-steel tank. Aged for nine months in 50-hl casks. 13,080 bottles and 250 magnums produced.

    Just mid ruby. Cool crushed cranberry and sour-cherry nose that is still a little closed. Subtle and deep with hints of oatmeal. Still embryonic. Elegant crushed berries and sour-cherry palate with gripping, long tannins. Minerally cherry finish. Overachieving Rosso di Montalcino that deserves a little more time in bottle. Drink: 2022-2028. 17.5 points”

    Walter Speller, JancisRobinson.com (06/21)

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  • Il Carnasciale Carnasciale 2018


    “This is a stellar set of wines from the Rogosky family, punctuated by an absolutely thrilling release of the flagship Caberlot. Made from a unique clone the marries the fruit opulence of Merlot with the aromatic intensity of Cabernet Franc, Caberlot remains one of the most distinctive wines in all of Tuscany. Ottantadue (Sangiovese), a more recent addition to the range, is also compelling.”

    Antonio Galloni, Vinous (07/22)

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  • Il Carnasciale Il Caberlot 2017 (1500ml)


    “The 2017 II Caberlot (Magnum) is so impressive. More than anything else, I am struck by how elegant and refined it is, especially for a year that was so warm and dry. Sweet red cherry, raspberry jam, espresso, wild fIowers, mint and dried herbs all grace the 2017, a wine of simply extraordinary beauty. Il Caberlot has previously been a wine of impact. The 2017 offers plenty of richness, but is also much more finessed than previous editions. Drinking window: 2024-2037. 97 points”

    Antonio Galloni, Vinous (09/20)

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  • Il Paradiso di Manfredi Brunello di Montalcino 2015


    The history of Il Paradiso di Manfredi starts back in 1914 with the birth of Manfredi Martini in Montalcino. Fast-forward to the 1950s and he was working for the only producer in Montalcino in those days, the iconic Biondi-Santi. He and his wife, Fortunata, then purchased an estate in 1958. Apparently, the name Il Paradiso stemmed from a priest who lived with the Martinis in the early 1900s deeming the area paradise. Thus, the estate of Il Paradiso di Manfredi was born. However, the sobriquet wasn’t totally appropriate as there was a catastrophic winter in the sixties which was so bad that it destroyed the estate’s olive trees! Luckily for wine lovers, this led directly to Manfredi replacing these trees with vines instead. In 1967, he was amongst a group who founded the Consorzio del Brunello di Montalcino association and, at that point, there were only twelve producers – today there are around 200! Following his death in 1982, Florio Guerrini, his son-in-law, took over with the help of his wife, Rosella.

    The compact estate of three hectares is nestled on the side of the hill on which the town of Montalcino is perched. Of these, two and a half hectares are planted to vine – two of which produce Brunello di Montalcino from Sangiovese Grosso (called Brunello here). Sangiovese is also the grape of Chianti and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano amongst others. From these two and a half hectares, they produce between 6,000 and 8,000 bottles of Brunello plus between 1,800 and 3,000 bottles of Rosso di Montalcino per year. In addition, 1,200 bottles of Riserva are made in years deemed special by the family. The artisanal nature of production here can be compared to that of Banfi who produce more than 50,000 cases of Brunello per year!

    The vineyards are placed on terraces, parallel along the hill of Montalcino, with varying altitudes (approximately 300 metres above sea level) and are exposed on the north side. This is a land rich in fossils and shells and they provide excellent nourishment to the vines’ roots. These north-facing vineyards produce lithe, refined wines with redcurrant and sour red-cherry aromas and flavours compared to those from the southern sectors which tend towards riper, red-cherry and even dark plum aromas and flavours along with a much richer mouthfeel. These stark differences can sometimes lead to the two types feeling like different wines altogether as Sangiovese is so good at transmitting its terroir. There are seven different vineyard parcels and a mixture of all these aids the wine’s complexity.

    Following such a long history as regards Brunello, it will come as no surprise that the estate has made wine using traditional methods since its inception. Manfredi never used herbicides and fertilisers and this approach has been followed by the present incumbents. Thus, this estate long preceded the trend of biodynamic viticulture but they are now classified as such!

    As previously mentioned, things stay along traditional lines in the winery (a 19th century construction). The grapes are fermented in cement-lined tanks with wild yeasts. The wine is then transferred by gravity into large Slavonian oak barrels. The Brunellos remain in these barrels for at least three years and sometimes longer – 36 to 40 months for the Brunello and 48 to 54 months for the Riserva. However, the Rosso only sees the barrels for approximately 14 months. The wine is bottled without ever having suffered the stress of being pumped. There is no fining, no filtration and no acidification. All of this allows the wine to speak clearly of its terroir.

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  • Isole e Olena Cabernet Sauvignon 2017


    “The 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Collezione Privata is another fabulous wine from Paolo De Marchi. Readers will have to be patient with the 2017, as it is a very young wine. History has taught me the Cabernet here ages exquisitely, but it needs time. l expect that will be the case here as well. Opening a bottle anytime soon is likely to be a mostly academic exercise. Drinking window: 2027-2042. 96 points

    Paolo De Marchi showed me a stellar set of wines this year. What else is new? De Marchi describes 2018 as a growing season with abundant rain in spring, late summer and during harvest that required quite a bit of selection, whereas 2019 was warmer, but with no spikes. That is certainly how the wines taste. Both the 2018 Chianti Classico and Cepparello are a bit lithe, while the 2019 editions show more flesh and radiance. Wines from international varieties are way out of fashion these days, but I would be remiss if I did not mention the supremely high level of the Chardonnay, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon at Isole e Olena.”

    Antonio Galloni, Vinous (09/21)

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  • Isole e Olena Cepparello 2018


    “The 2018 Cepparello is a brilliant, tightly wound wine that is going to need a number of years to unwind. Today I very much like its energy and vibrancy. Readers will find a Cepparello that is more about persistence than volume. Dark red/purplish berry fruit, spice, lavender and menthol are laced into the silky finish. Drinking window: 2026-2048. 94+ points

    Paolo De Marchi showed me a stellar set of wines this year. What else is new? De Marchi describes 2018 as a growing season with abundant rain in spring, late summer and during harvest that required quite a bit of selection, whereas 2019 was warmer, but with no spikes. That is certainly how the wines taste. Both the 2018 Chianti Classico and Cepparello are a bit lithe, while the 2019 editions show more flesh and radiance. Wines from international varieties are way out of fashion these days, but I would be remiss if I did not mention the supremely high level of the Chardonnay, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon at Isole e Olena.”

    Antonio Galloni, Vinous (09/21)

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