Decanted 2 hrs. Another strong showing with lots to enjoy here, sangiovese with a slight modern edge, pronounced cedar and bright red cherry fruit. Some mid palate richness and wood tannin suggest this did see some new oak (unsure regimen here) but it has melded together pretty well. At plateau of drinking maturity and should hold for a good 5 years or so. Very good VsD, but I think i like the long term potential of the 06 a little more at this stage.
The nose was earthy with dusty soil, leather, dried flowers and sweet herbs. On the palate, I found angular textures with gripping tannin, giving way to tart cherry and brisk acidity. Tannin coated the palate throughout the finish, drying the senses and the wine’s otherwise beautiful fruit. I hope to be wrong one day about the 2004, as on this night it seemed as if the wood tannin may outlive the fruit. At the moment, it’s a hard wine to like.
Super beau Chianti d'une grande maison, j'adore. Bouteille ouverte, décanté soigneusement lors de la mise en carafe (léger dépot fin) puis remis en bouteille épaulée pour 8 heures avant le repas (côte de veau sauce forrestière). Le nez est sublime, élégant sur des notes de fleurs, d'épices, de tabac blond avec des petites cerises et une pointe de terre. En bouche, très dense et assez ample. Cerises noires, anis, roses et poivre avec une belle acidité et des tannins bien enrobés. La finale est longue et succulente. Encore assez jeune et fringant mais déjà très bon. Du très beau Sangiovese, plusieurs on mentionné qu'ils avaient un beau Brunello dans leur verre...ça dit tout!
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(Fontodi Chianti Classico Riserva Vigna del Sorbo) From magnum - dark ruby color; aromatic, black cherry, black raspberry puree, talc nose; rich, tasty, focused, silky textured, juicy, black raspberry puree, cherry puree, violets palate; could use 2 years; long finish
With all the banter over Fontodi lately, I've gone to the well for something special.
There has been so much interest in the 2006s from this winery that demand for older vintages has been thoroughly renewed as well. There's a palpable buzz surrounding Fontodi right now and all the hubbub gave me an idea - how about a six vintage vertical directly from the winery? If you have a new cellar or are into instant collections, I've talked them into parting with six top years, all with critical praise and all in library condition. I'm sure you could find each vintage cheaper elsewhere (one by one) but not from the winery - they don't even offer these to the public. While we always try to offer the lowest price, I have no problem paying a premium for provenance when it is this sound and unusual.
These are some of the last prized bottles of library stock that remain so here goes...
Fontodi "Vigna del Sorbo" Chianti Classico Riserva - 6 Vintage Vertical 1 x 1995 1 x 1997 1 x 1999 1 x 2001 1 x 2004 1 x 2006
A few reviews...
(The 2006 is a "wow" example that has designs on usurping every other wine and vintage Fontodi has produced. We'll see if it happens but, for now, the stars have aligned for a special experience down the road - JR)
(What can I say about the 2004? A stunning example that should be put very far away so you don't have to go through the agony of eyeing it every time you look for something in the cellar. This is tough to resist right now but don't do it - give this another 6-8 years and you will be rewarded - JR)
(The 2001 is a great, serious wine that has finally opened, only in the last few months - hold for another 1-2 years and you should catch this at absolute peak - JR)
(The 1999 is singing right now - probably the best vintage of Vigna del Sorbo for current wine-geek consumption. This wine is like catching a ray of light in your hands - it provides the type of experience all of us look for but rarely find - JR)
(From arguably the most famous Tuscan vintage of the 1990's (save for 1990), this wine is fully mature and it shows the 1997 vintage in spades - one that had more glycerol power in youth than 1995 or 1999 but also more polished sheen - in a very similar vein to Piedmont. A wonderful and elegant drink to enjoy now and over the next 2-3 years - JR)
(Who would have guessed this wine would be this beautiful in 2009? I, for one. I remember having a conversation back in 1998 or 1999 with Giovanni Manetti and I told him the 1995 was going to be fabulous in 10-15 years - it had an elegance that set it apart from the new-style IGT wines that were all the rage in Tuscany and he agreed. The 1995 Vigna del Sorbo is at absolute peak and it's a toss up as to which is better right now - the above mentioned 1999 or the 1995. The 1995 is slightly more autumnal but it's a haunting sense of autumn in so many ways. This wine is far better than any of the reviews would indicate and that's why you actually have to age and drink the wines, not just read about them - especially if the reviews were penned 10-15 years ago. Incidentally, Giovanni Manettti likes this wine better than his 1995 Flaccianello - JR)
Maybe this favor is from my original train ride last year (those of you that remember the story, I sat next to the winemaker at Fontodi in a random occurrence from Pisa and the rest has been to your benefit) but however it has occurred, Fontodi has agreed to release the few 5.0 liter bottles they made of the 2004 Vigna del Sorbo to us. I suspect the investment value in these will increase exponentially with their scarcity.
What makes this even more special is that these were hand-made from the best barrel they had of the WA95 wine - were originally intended to stay at the winery for future events in 2-3 decades but prodding has its rewards (sometimes, if I become too annoying, I get punched). They only made a few of these and the rarity factor is off the wall. It's basically impossible to find a 3.0 of this wine but a 5.0?
I feel very fortunate to offer these to you as they should be the only 5.0's that make their way out of Italy - I know how many they made - I've seen all of them:
EXTREMELY LIMITED - a very special parcel!
This parcel has perfect hand-bottled provenance directly from the winery cellar:
2004 Fontodi Vigna Del Sorbo 5.0lt
It will ship during the first available shipping window via air-freight only (weather permitting, this fall) - I don't want to risk something this special by shipping it via ground unless you REALLY demand it.
I should be sleeping right now but timing is everything and if I don't grab this parcel in the middle of the night it will be gone by 5:00am tomorrow. The price on this wine is about to go through the roof as it was the highest scoring wine in tonight's Wine Advocate (except for the 2004 Messorio which earned 96pts). I'm not surprised - the wine is a behemoth and testament to what Tuscany is all about.
From a great growing season, this wine should age as well as any 2005 Bordeaux and it is the equal of the best Italy has to offer - a serious wine in every respect and a major accomplishment from Fontodi:
This is the last of the 2004 available in the US (unless it's already sitting on a shelf somewhere).
ONE PARCEL ONLY WITH THE FINEST PROVENANCE AVAILABLE - directly from the source:
2004 Fontodi Vigna del Sorbo Riserva EXTREMELY LIMITED If you act fast, a few stores have 6-12 bottles in the low $50's (you should just throw your hat in the ring and see if you get them), other than that, I have a feeling these will be gone quickly...
2004 Fontodi Vigna del Sorbo Riserva 1.5lt EXTREMELY LIMITED Yes, this is more than twice what a 750ml costs but these are so rare at this point that I'm lucky to get a few - only 12 for the entire US at this point (there are none at the winery and something tells me this format will increase in value...a lot)
(VIGNA DEL SORBO Fontodi Chianti Classico) Fontodi
Here is a very rare set of magnums (and 3.0lt’s) that are not typically exported - I’m only getting them because I sat next to the powers that be on my train to Pisa - a random occurrence that was not planned (serendipity has its charms). We usually don’t carry Fontodi but there’s a first time for everything.
For a wine once called the “La Turque of Italy” by James Suckling, Fontodi’s Casa Via Syrah has become a reference for the varietal in Italy. 2004 had similar success in Chianti Classico as in Spain and while I haven’t tasted this wine, I’m sure it will appeal to those looking for Cote Rotie with a twist. In the past, this wine has been more Rhone-like than anything else - not massively oaked “Shiraz” akin to Le Macchiole Syrah. It usually has the unmistakable terroir of Panzano’s golden soil blanketing the structure and framework of the wine with a meaty, smoke-laced character that is very appealing. The winemaker believes this wine is as good or better than their highly touted 2004 Flaccionello, which is really saying something (you can look up Galloni’s comments on that wine):
ONE SMALL SHIPMENT ONLY directly from the source with perfect provenance:
VERY RARE (I believe they only made a few dozen of these and they are quite beautiful to look at)
2004 Fontodi Syrah Case Via 1.5lt
...I also acquired a few rare 3.0’s of Fontodi’s yet to be released Chianti Classico Vigna del Sorbo (Riserva). This is akin to their Brunello-level Sangiovese made in Chianti Classico. Reviews for this wine should be out shortly and I would expect interesting comments (the regular 2004 Chianti Classico has already been reviewed by Antonio Galloni so you can use your imagination on the Riserva):
2004 Fontodi Chianti Classico “Vigna del Sorbo” (Riserva) 3.0lt (this format is not exported to the US and is hand bottled and sealed - also a gorgeous bottle to gaze upon)
Jon Rimmerman Garagiste Seattle, WA
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