Fattoria di Felsina Fontalloro 2016
Fattoria di Fèlsina is one of the greatest quality estates in Tuscany. Based in the Chianti Classico region, Fèlsina produces one of the finest ranges of ageworthy and complex Chianti bottlings in all of Italy. Unlike many of their neighbors, Fèlsina has never succumbed to the temptation to produce "new age" Chianti made of international-styled blends that include Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot. Instead, they continue to use solely Sangiovese in their Chianti wines. Consequently, their elegant yet intensely flavored Chiantis place them firmly among the top handful of Chianti producers, with the best vintages of their top Riserva Chiantis often approaching Brunello di Montalcino (also 100% Sangiovese) in terms of complexity and potential for longevity.
In addition to their distinct bottlings of Chianti Classico, Fèlsina also produces one of Italy's top Vino di Tavola's (or IGTs), called Fontalloro. Fontalloro is sourced from old Sangiovese vines in three top vineyards that straddle the border between two of Chianti's top regions: "Classico" and "Colli Senesi". The vineyards are practicing biodynamic and all of the fruit is hand-harvested. It is produced from vines that are in excess of fifty years of age, the fruit is deand aged in small French oak barrels for fifteen to eighteen months prior to bottling.
Vinification: After de-stemming and pressing, 28-30oC fermentation with automatic daily punch-downs, followed by 16-20 day maceration.
Aging: The wine was then drawn off, underwent malolactic fermentation, and went into barriques in March-April for 18-20 months. It was blended in stainless steel, then aged in glass 8-12 months.
Production: 3,335 cases made.
'Felsina is a reference-point property for readers who want to discover the best Tuscany has to offer. Prices remain exceedingly fair considering the quality of what is in the bottle.' raves Wine Advocate
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Wine AdvocateThe 2016 Fontalloro is the best vintage of this landmark wine that I have tasted thus far. This is a very elegant vintage, with more volume in the mouth and precise notes of tar, licorice, camphor ash, resin and Indian spice. In a race between the highly competitive 2015 and 2016 vintages, I give a slight advantage to this wine. The warmer 2015 vintage shows more richness and exuberant fruit. However, this wine from 2016 offers a more focused and chiseled delivery. I am hopeful that this wine will continue to evolve and sharpen as it ages in the bottle. This is a beautiful wine to put aside in your cellar for ten years or more.
VinousThe 2016 Fontalloro is bold, hearty and deeply flavored, with all of the Sangiovese wildness that is so typical of Fontalloro. Ripe dark cherry, grilled herbs, smoke, leather, game and incense are some of the many aromas and flavors that open up in a potent, virile Fontalloro loaded with personality and character. In so many ways, 2016 is THE archetype of what Fontalloro is - a Sangiovese that is a bit wild and unruly but also full of charm.
Wine EnthusiastAromas of dark-skinned fruit, exotic spice, blue flower and menthol shape the nose. It's linear, focused and ethereally elegant, offering succulent Morello cherry, raspberry compote and star anise alongside fine-grained tannins. Fresh acidity lends balance. Drink 2020-2028.
Wine SpectatorThis is rich and polished, with black cherry, blackberry and plum flavors matched to dense tannins and bright acidity. Tips toward the tannic side now, picking up earth, spice and tar notes on the long finish. Best from 2021 through 2028. 2,500 cases made.