Awarded 93 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their February 2019 Claret Alternatives article; (see blue link below).
Fontodi Chianti Classico 2015 - February 2019 Decanter review
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.
There are 80 hectares of south-facing vineyards, all of which are farmed organically and are found in the Conca d'Oro (the 'golden shell'), an amphitheatre-shaped valley to the south of Panzano. This shape facilitates the full ripening of the grapes. The stony galestro soils allow for excellent drainage and encourage the vines to grow deep roots. The quality of the Sangiovese grapes from the Fontodi vineyards obviates the need for Merlot or other varieties as a remedial blender.
100% Sangiovese (Chianti Classico must be at least 80%).
The very wet winter of 2015 enabled vines to access considerable deep-seated water reserves during the spring, facilitating budding and flowering which lasted until the beginning of June. The particularly favourable climate during the summer ensured that all subsequent phenological stages, from fruit set to maturity, developed evenly. Hot temperatures in July were mitigated by some timely thunderstorms, while a sunny and quite breezy August allowed the grapes to reach a perfect phenolic ripeness. Harvest throughout September and the first week of October was facilitated by numerous sunny days, interspersed with sporadic rainfall. The 2015 wines exhibit balance, great structure and intense aromas.
Fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks for two weeks, during which the cap was punched down twice a day. The wine was then racked into 225-litre French oak barriques, both Tronçais and Allier, where it remained for 24 months before bottling. The wine was matured in bottle for six months before release.
The wine is deep ruby red in colour, with perfumes of sour cherry and plums leading to notes of leather and tobacco. It has great depth of flavour, with juicy fruit and supple tannins, giving way to a silky-smooth texture. It has a great structure and finishes with a fine mineral note.