Fontodi Chianti Classico 2007

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Fontodi is a top producer in Chianti, a region much maligned both for its history of cheap dreck and for an overabundance of new Super Tuscan blends many of which have focused more on international rather than regional varieties.

On the other hand, Chianti, particularly Chianti Classico, has seen a bit of a resurgance lately, with top producers like Fontodi focusing on a terroir driven approach to Chianti and demonstrating that the Classico DOCG can offer stunning soil driven wines.

Fickle Grape, Rediscovered Terroir

Sangiovese, of course, is one of Italy’s greatest indigenous grapes, descendant from two other indigenous Tuscan vines called ciliegiolo and calabrese monotenuovo. Sangiovese is a vigorous grape that must be closely pruned but also that has difficulty ripening. The grape’s naturally light colour is what led to blending with both traditional varieties and the international grapes Cabernet and Merlot. Though I have to point out that while these noble French varieties have been much maligned, when done well, they can produce outstanding wine. That said, this Chianti is 100% Sangiovese (as is Fontodi’s Super Tuscan Flaccianello).

Perfectly Classic

A nose of classic medium bodied cherry becomes a fantastic full-bodied yet very well balanced wine with flavours of cherry, licorice and roots. This has amazing length and structure for basic Chianti Classico and is a superb example both of Fontodi and the outstanding 2007 vintage.

There is pretty much no Chianti out there in B.C. at this price point with this level of structure and complexity. That makes this wine an outstanding buy that you can lay down or drink now with a hearty plate of spaghetti and meatballs.

Very Good+ and Highly Recommended Value
$33 at BCLDB

P.S. The Portuguese Spotlight will continue soon – the contingencies of a busy life have created some delay.

Comments

  1. Weston
    August 9, 2011

    Hmm All the Chianti I’ve had side by side with 06s about 90% of the time I enjoy the 06s and really don’t like the 07s. Have not had a good Chianti in a while may need to pick up a bottle

    the Exception being 2007 Altesino Rosso di Altesino Toscana IGT which is pretty good value/money

  2. Shea
    August 10, 2011

    06 is another excellent vintage and I think the preference is likely a style preference rather than a quality preference. However, the Fontodi really stands out as very high quality Chianti – it’s worth a try.

    Also, we don’t have many Chianti producers in this market of the quality of Fontodi. The only others I can think of would be Isole e Olena and Querciabella.

  3. David J. Cooper
    August 10, 2011

    Well. I disagree with both comments. I prefer the 07s for current drinking, I’ve had many while visiting America. Like Felsina, Rocca Montegrossi, Cafaggio and others and all are delicious . In fact I find this one a bit tight right now.

    There have been a few more excellent chiantis at the LDB recently like the Cafaggio 06 ris. Volpaia 04 ris and di Ama 05 and 06. Even the Coltibuono wines are decent. Non CC wines like Tolaini Al Passo and the Galiterra from Sonino are available and good value from the region. I do agree though Tuscany is under represented in BC.

  4. Shea
    August 10, 2011

    Thx for the comment. I think those are solid producers too, though I personally prefer the ones I listed – but that’s just preference. I’ve liked both 06 and 07 quite a bit.

  5. David J. Cooper
    August 10, 2011

    Shea. It would be nice to have you and your readers participate in our Vancouver-centric board.

    Winefantic.ca

  6. Brad
    August 13, 2011

    Shea, love the discussion back and forth on the Chianti’s…definitely a style I’m really coming to understand and appreciate the past couple years.

    After your Portugal series, would love to hear you talk about the other noble grape of Italy, Nebbiolo…particularly some discussion on some of your favorite QPR Barolos (if there is such a thing). I’ve been collecting some the past few years but haven’t really dug into into any of them due to the fact that I want them to collect a little bottle age and be really nice when I crack them open. Would love to hear your comments on what current ones in the market really strike you. I’m sure you have a lot on your plate you want to write about, but that is something I haven’t seen you write about in quite a long time.

    Cheers,
    Brad

  7. Shea
    August 14, 2011

    Hey Brad, it’s true that I haven’t written about Nebbiolo much – mostly due to the fact they need so much age before they come into their drinking window. I do love the wines though and it is definitely a good idea. I’ll put it on the list!

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