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Fontodi Vigna del Sorbo Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2017 £65.00
FONTODI VIGNA DEL SORBO CHIANTI CLASSICO GRAN SELEZIONE
The Manetti family has owned Fontodi since 1969 but has been in Chianti for centuries. Though they have always made wine, their primary business is still the production of Chianti's finest terracotta at their factory in Ferrone. Giovanni Manetti has run the property since 1980 and ensures the wines are as meticulously made as the vineyards are immaculately tended. Their 90 hectares of vineyard, 90% of which are Sangiovese, are situated in the prime 'Conca d'Oro' (golden shell) of Panzano, and have been converted to organic viticulture. Giovanni is now following biodynamic principles to obtain the best quality fruit.
Soils here are galestro, a classic Tuscan shale, which has excellent drainage and encourages the vines to put down deep roots. The grapes for this wine are grown in the Vigna del Sorbo vineyard. The vines were planted in 1981, and the vineyard is situated at an altitude of 400 metres above sea level, facing south/south-west.
Grapes were fermented separately in stainless steel tanks for 18 days. During fermentation and maceration the cap was punched down twice a day. After fermentation the wine was aged in Tronçais and Allier barriques, of which half was new oak, for 20 months and an extra 4 months in botte grande (large barrels) prior to bottling. It remained in bottle for at least six months before release.
Dark ruby red in colour, this wine opens with aromas of dark black fruits, blackberry and Victoria plum. The powerful structure defines the palate and is given complexity by the smoky, savoury fruit, robust tannins and fine acidity.
The Fontodi 2017 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Vigna del Sorbo is expressive, dark and thickly concentrated. I received my samples early and found that this wine was a little shy or slow to open in this early phase. If given extra time, the bouquet warms up to dark fruit, plum, rum cake and dried violet. I came back to the wine about two hours later and discovered a pretty note of crushed aspirin or carbon, with more crushed flower. The oak adds sweet spice and scorched earth, but these too will integrate with time. From a hot and dry vintage, I'd easily give this edition of Vigna del Sorbo a 15- or 20-year drinking window