Fontodi has belonged to the Manetti family since 1968. The family has been associated for centuries with another activity typical of the Chianti region, the production of its famous “terrecotte” tiles. And it is in the name of this strong link with the territory and a great passion for quality that the estate has moved successfully towards an ever more attentive cultivation of the vineyards and a more profound knowledge of the potential of Sangiovese in the zone of Panzano.
Fontodi is a certified organic estate which extends over 130 hectares of which about 70 are planted with vines. The type of agriculture practised is inspired by the principles of respect of nature and sustainability. Not only are no chemical products used but there is an effort to maximize the internal resources of the estate, thereby reducing the need for any external input. Respecting the environment means wines that are better, purer, and a truer expression of the grape and the territory.
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.
Fontodi’s 2016 Flaccianello della Pieve is a masterpiece. This review represents a composite of notes from two separate tasting sessions, one at the winery and a second bottle tasted repeatedly over the course of 24 hours at my own pace. In the case of the second sample, it ended up in a blind flight next to the 2016 Masseto, and as beautiful as that Merlot-based wine is, this wine paints an even more beautiful portrait of a perfect Tuscan landscape, thanks to that tangy Sangiovese typicity. This vintage shows amazing depth and poise, with a sheer sense of elegance that comes from the undisputed quality of fruit achieved in this balanced vintage. The bouquet opens to dark cherry, blue flower and tilled earth. The tannins are taut, almost crunchy, and the wine offers profound pedigree and persistence that is driven by the evident acidity. That depth is what stands out most. Until the 2013 vintage, Flaccianello was aged in barrique for 24 months. After that vintage, six months of the total aging time is spent in botte instead. This 2016 vintage includes a small part from clay amphorae for the first time. This slight change in the relationship of wine to barrel size has resulted in a more elegant and finessed wine. That point is especially underlined in this vintage. Because of cool spring temperatures during the flowering, yields were reduced by 20% in 2016 compared to 2015. [100 Points, Monica Larner – July 2019, robertparker.com]