"Perfection in Panzano" - 100 points for Fontodi 2016 Flaccianello della Pieve in The Wine Advocate

In the latest issue of The Wine Advocate (31st August 2019), Monica Larner reports on her visit to Fontodi in Panzano, where she tasted “all existing vintages of Flaccianello della Pieve from the first 1981 to current 2016 vintages” (32 in total), revealing “a continuous progression of great quality with relatively few stylistic changes along the way.”

Monica’s “highlight of the day was the 2016 Flaccianello della Pieve”, which she awarded a perfect 100-point score, commenting “my expectations were impossibly high, but the wine met and exceeded those expectations on every level. There are 100-point scores that you think about for a long time and 100-points scores that feel instinctively right on first impact. They fill you with confidence and assurance because you recognize that your palate has been tested with rare and unique beauty, and you gain an emotional response to the wine not just an intellectual one. This special wine falls into that second category. [It] borrows many of the most beautiful attributes of past vintages, fitting them expertly together into a single bottle. It shows the dark fruit exuberance of 2015 and the crisp acidic and tannic backbone you get in 2013. The 2016 vintage is similar to 2010 in terms of its classic lines and the soaring sense of power delivered to the palate. I am reminded of the tight firmness I saw in the 1999, but also of the opulence and richness of the 1997 edition.”

Both the 100-point 2016 Flaccianello della Pieve and 98-point 2016 ‘Vigna del Sorbo’ Chianti Classico Gran Selezione (“another benchmark wine from Tuscany”) are available from September.

Monica Larner also visited Il Greppo, the venerated home of Biondi-Santi, tasting not only the latest 2013 Brunello di Montalcino ‘Annata’ release (“a stunning edition”, 96+ points), but also the older 2006 and 1995 vintage Brunello di Montalcino Riservas, which have both been re-released as special cellar selections. The 2006 Riserva, which “shows extreme Sangiovese elegance and purity”, is the second highest scoring wine in Monica’s Brunello di Montalcino new releases report with 98 points, while the 1995 Riserva - whose “sense of impeccable balance serves as a measure of how well this wine has help up over time” – is rated 96 points. All three wines are in stock now.

Subscribers to The Wine Advocate can read Monica Larner’s Fontodi article here, including a nine-minute video with owner Giovanni Manetti, and her Brunello di Montalcino report here.