Aim vs Warmth in Tuscany, Fanti shines

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Know your 2011 vintage Brunello di Montalcino from Fanti

  • Brunello di Montalcino: Rumour has it, 2011 was a very warm year
  • Filippo Fanti is one of these
  • Today opinions have changed
  • The wines we tasted 

Brunello di Montalcino: Rumour has it, 2011 was a very warm year
With the abundant range of Brunello styles available today it can easily become a challenge to decide in what to invest in, indeed for business but absolutely for pleasure too. ’Difficult’ years, as the latest released 2011 vintage, doesn’t make things any less rocky. Therefore it was an even greater experience to visit the charismatic Filippo Fanti for lunch a couple of weeks ago and witness the elegance & authenticity of his wine efforts from this exact year, despite increased sugar ripeness and high contents of alcohol. Rumour has that 2011 was a very, very warm year and rumour is right. This has resulted in much too baked or marmellated brunellos what goes for many of the producers’ wines. However, some producers are fortunated enough to have both devotion and expertise as well as location and aim to maintain the authentic expressions, styles and qualities of Brunello despite of climatic hazards, like 2011’s excess of heat.
Filippo Fanti is one of these
– one of these with that kind of fortune. Around 40 years ago, in the early 1970s, he took over the lead of the 300 hectares of family estate when the production was all about olive oil and cereals. This became a turning point in the family owned company’s history because Filippo dared to plant Sangiovese vines in a terroir not previously thought to be suitable to these plantings and the production of Brunello. In fact, the land, located close to the captivating Abbazia di Sant’Antimo, in the splendid corner with the southern aspect of Castelnuovo dell’Abate (to the South East of the town of Montalcino), was judged the accurate opposite; not suitable for the production of Brunello.
However, today opinions have changed
Fanti, who sat different periods as president for the Consorzio di Brunello (a free association of brunello winemakers), a man with an ongoing important and consisting voice in the Montalcino community stressing the need for Brunello producers to remain true to their wine producing origins paired with adequate modern wine making technologies, is, together with his wines, considered one of the important benchmarks to which terroir authentic brunello is measured up against.
The Brunellos we tasted
– from different parcels, are all worth every penny. Here they are in descending order (do note the Rosso di Montalcino 2013 mentioned in the middle) together with the estate’s Sant’Antimo and a white & rosé:
Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2011, Riserva Vigna le Macchiarelle
Oh boy, what was that? Fermented, aged and bottled 35-year old Macchiarelle vine juice, now deeply ruby red with pronounced nose of baked red fruits, oak and vanilla but on the palate, despite it’s high alcohol, gorgeously balanced, dry with sufficient acidity, tannins, mouthcoating full-bodiness and primary flavours of raspberries and strawberries finished with a velvoutly roundness of chocolate, vanilla and coffee. It was excellent.
Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2011, Vallocchio
Deep ruby red from 25-year old Valocchio vines, baked aromas of strawberry, dry with good acidity, tannins and well-balanced alcohol. Full-bodied with flavours of red cherries, sweet spices, coco nut, chocolate and tar. Long finish, very pleasant.
Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2011
Lovely ’basic’ deep ruby coloured brunello with pronounced aromas of baked red berries, chocolate and farmyard. Medium acidity and tannins, high alcohol, full-bodied with primary wild cherries, vanilla toasted oak and nuts and long finish.
Rosso di Montalcino DOC 2013
Beautifully fresh, pure and neat pronounced aromas of red berries, eucalyptus, toasted oak and vanilla. Dry with medium (+) acidity, well integrated tannins and alcohol, pronounced flavours of violets, red berries and medium-long finish. Great ’little brother’ glass
Sant’Antimo Rosso DOC 2013, Sassomagno
Deep ruby red with rich aromas of red currant, vanilla, oak, farmyard, cherries and pronounced, thick flavours of red and black berries, chocolate, violets, high alcohol, tannins, medium acidity and long finish. Very good, pronounced international style.
Sant’Antimo Bianco DOC
Fresh and dry with high acidity, medium alcohol and pronounced flavours of lemon, grass and leafiness.
Soralisa and Rosato Toscana IGT
Medium-bodied rosé with crisp acidity, lemon and leafiness.

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