Flaccianello della Pieve 2009


Fontodi, the makers of this wine, are situated in the heart of the Chianti Classico area. This is intriguing as the usual black cockerel seal does not appear on the bottle and the wine is an IGT Colli Toscano Centrale rather than a Chianti DOC. I have searched, rather obsessively, for a reason but have decided to ‘let it go’ and concentrate on the wine itself. If anyone can enlighten, please do so.

[Richard: apparently when Flaccianello was first bottled 100% Sangiovese was not allowed by the Chianti Classico rules. Now it is but Fontodi have stuck with the same labelling. Also the CC rules do not allow large (over 6l.) bottles which Fontodi sometimes produce for Flaccianello.]

Pure Sangiovese, weighing in at 14.5% ABV, this is a big wine and one I, smelling blind, identified as a Rioja and then Claret. There was little with which to identify the typical tart cherry, lighter and fruity style of Chianti. That’s my excuse, anyway.

The deep black, intense colour, framed by a slightly brick coloured rim, preceded a spirity, vegetal and distinctly meaty nose. Tasting revealed a distinct tannic structure suggesting immaturity with fruit flavours of plums and damsons that went on for some time in the mouth. This was a wine with plenty of life left in it, drinking well now but probably improving for another 10 years. Richard says he has more of this high-quality IGT wine. It’s certainly worth waiting for.

[Richard: I bought 6 bottles (£39 each) four years ago and have been dying to open one ever since. By chance I saw a mention – by the fruit stashed Jane MacQuitty –  of a later vintage in The Times which she suggested was ready to drink. So I got this one down from the cupboard. Glad I did. Yes, lots of life left but very drinkable now. Pure, elegant, refined and a real ‘super Tuscan’. However not your typical sangiovese.]


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