2017 Fontalloro, Felsina, Toscana IGT, 6x750ml
2017 Fontalloro, Felsina, Toscana IGT
A blend of three different vineyards between the appellation of Chianti Classico and Colli Senesi, this wine is 100% Sangiovese representing the best of both sides - powerful and structured with perfumes of spices, blackberries and tobacco.
Availability: 1-2 weeks
Case size: 6 / Bottle size: 750ml
Critics Score: 95
Publication: Monica Larner, Wine Advocate
Drinking Dates: 2021-2040
This 470-hectare estate is located northeast of Siena in the commune of Castelnuovo Berardenga, on the southern border of the Chianti Classico zone. Fèlsina epitomises the powerful style of southern Chianti, where the wines are stylistically more akin to those from Montalcino than their fellow Chianti from Fontodi or Isole e Olena. Domenico Poggiali bought the estate in 1966. Giuseppe Mazzocolin, son-in-law of Domenico, entered the family business in the late 1970s and played a significant role in the growth of the winery. In 1990 Giovanni Poggiali, Domenico's grandson, joined the management and continues his grandfather's enterprise with the same passion. Giuseppe Mazzocolin is now less involved in the running of the estate, and consultant oenologist Franco Bernabei is very much at the helm of the winemaking team.
Grapes for Fontalloro are grown on the Fontalloro and Poggio al Sole vineyards situated inside the Chianti Classico zone, and the Casalino and Arcidossino vineyards in the Chianti Colli Senesi zone. The vines are Guyot trained, with a maximum of 5-8 buds per vine. They are over 50 years old, situated at an altitude of 400 metres above sea level. Soils here are calcareous in the Chianti Classico area and predominantly loamy and sandy on the borders of the Colli Senesi. Planting density is 5,400 vines per hectare.
The grapes went through a thorough selection process, both in the vineyard and upon arrival at the winery. After destemming and crushing, fermentation took place at 28-30°C with daily punch downs of the cap, followed by an extended 16 to 20 day post-fermentation maceration. The wine was then racked into barriques (a mixture of first and second use) in the spring and aged in those for 18 to 22 months. Before bottling the final blend was assembled and left to marry in stainless-steel tanks. Finally, the wine was aged in bottle in the Fèlsina cellars for 8 to 12 months before release.
2017 was an unusual vintage. Winter was cold, with several days when the temperature dropped below freezing, followed by a mild spring. In March, warm temperatures (over 20°C) favoured early budding but a cold snap in April saw frost damage some vines, leading to reduced yields. May began with thunderstorms, then conditions improved with above average temperatures through the summer months, including a record hot spell in late July. A return to normal temperatures with some rainfall from mid-August reinvigorated the vines and harvest was brought forward by about 15 days. The warm dry September ensured optimal conditions for the final stages of ripening and the harvest was completed in two passes. Yields were lower than average but quality this year was excellent.