By Chris Gill
I first discovered Fontalloro at an Italian restaurant in Berlin in 2001. When I ordered a bottle of the 1985 vintage, the sommelier’s personality shifted from aloof and cavalier to animated, with an almost childlike display of glee. He noted that if I enjoyed the 1985 I should purchase a few bottles of 1997 Fontalloro for my cellar, which in his estimation was even better.
I’m happy to say I heeded his advice, as the 1997 exceeded my expectations. After ten to 15 years of aging, this Tuscan Sangiovese exhibits sophisticated overtones of violet, clove, and mint that emerge from a hearty, red fruit foundation. A long-lived wine that is just beginning to enter its peak period.
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