Some seven years ago I found two magnums of Flaccianello at a wine store somewhere in Europe. That was the beginning of this evening. During the years I have sought out magnums of the good and great vintages of Tuscany.
Flaccianello was born in 1981 and up to 1985 it consisted of up to 15% green grapes along with the Sangiovese. From 1985 it is 100% Sangiovese, rightfully so.
Between 1981 and 2000 the grapes came from a single vineayard, called Flaccianello because it was located in the vicinity of the church that have given the cross on the label (one of the wine worlds most beautiful labels IMHO), but from the 2001 vintage the blend is made out of the best grapes from Fontodi´s estate, that covers 70 ha.
The oak treatmant has increased over the years and now it is 100% new oak, interesting in this anti-oak day and age...
Now it was time to open them all - 12 magnums for 13 wine afficionados - sounds about right! It was actually one magnum each since we started with a magnum Champagne...
We were seated in a private room at Djuret, one of my favourite restaurants in Stockholm, which if you don´t bring 12 magnums of Flaccianello or 20 vintages of Montrose...., has an amazing wine list. The food, service and handling of the bottles was, as usual, top notch - thanks!
This is how it went.
1995 Femme, Duval-Leroy
This was really a slow starter. At first I was a tad disappointed, but when it got some air things started to happen. When it opens up fine aromas of tangerines, dried flowers, smoke and fudge emerges from the glass. Classy. Some steely notes. Very fine.
The taste is tight, stony and barely mature with notes of lemon cream, tangerines, slate and gravel. A high, fine acidity. Long and intense. This is very, very good and will go on for many years to come. A great start.
93p (tasted 2016/02)
Things didn´t start out as well when we came to the Flaccianello´s though. This bottle has been stored badly somewhere along the line. The nose is murky and hot with notes of cherry jam, (over) ripe plums and wet earth. Hollow.
The taste is warm and compact with notes of old wood, red wine vinegar and mud. Tired. I can see this standing for years in a shop window somewhere in Italy (been there, seen that...).
60p (tasted 2016/02)
A big, open, sweet nose with notes of dark cherries, rosemary, autumn leaves and tobacco. A fine maturity. Very good. A fine sweetness to the fruit.
The taste is round and mature and drinking beautifully with notes of ripe cherries, liquorice, dried herbs and warm Tuscan gravel. A long, velvety finish that ends with a dry twist. Very, very good.
89p (tasted 2016/02)
From a regular bottle this has been mature for some time, but from a magnum it delivers the goods. The nose is deep and intense with rich notes of black cherries, raspberry liquorice, pipe tobacco, violets and warm gravel. A perfect maturity, and just so. Very, very fine.
The taste is big and chewy with notes of ripe cherries, chocolate wafers, warm tiles and sweet tobacco. The finish is long, multi layered and impressive. In this format, this could be kept for another 5+ years. Great wine.
94p (tasted 2016/02)
The 95 Flaccianello opens up with a deep, warm nose with notes of spicy cherries, rosemary, autumn leaves and Tuscan gravel. Pure and fine. Some tobacco after a while. Very, very good.
The taste is big and steady with sweet, mature cherry fruit and additional notes of sugared coffee, warm herbs and dry liquorice. A long, dry finish. Drinking perfect tonight.
90p (tasted 2016/02)
My perennial favourite of Flaccianello is of course stunning from a magnum! But I have to be honest and say that I have had even better ones from regular bottles, the last one three years ago. This bottle has a deep, meaty and powerful nose with notes of sweet/sour black cherries, warm herbs, chocolate, black olives and violets. Very, very fine. Fully mature and giving lots of pleasure.
The taste feels younger than the nose with notes of black cherries, moist earth, chocolate covered cherries, rosemary and tapenade. The finish is very long, sweet and showing some tannins in the end. Drinking great now and the coming 5+ years, at least from this bottle size.
95p (tasted 2016/02)
The 98 shows a deep, seedy, fine nose with notes of warm, ripe cherries, dark flowers, black olives and some tobacco. More restrained than the 97. Very, very good. Almost fully mature.
The taste is warm, structured and fine with notes of ripe black cherries, warm tiles, dried flowers and liquorice. A long, taut finish with a fine tobacco note. Very, very good. Could be cellared another 5+ years.
92p (tasted 2016/02)
My favourite in this flight and the runner up of the whole line up. The nose is just stunning with deep, intense notes of ripe black cherries, dusty earth, violets, leather and a dark salt caramel. Great wine. Some maturity but this has a long way to go.
The taste is tight and concentrated, yet refined with gorgeous notes of black cherries, ripe blueberries, dark chocolate, warm Tuscan gravel and expensive leather. The finish goes on for minutes. Lovely polished tannins that comes through in the end of the finish. Great for drinking now but I would love to drink this every day for the coming 10+ years.
96p (tasted 2016/02)
The 00 is no slouch but it has some problems shining in this company. The nose is big and outgoing with notes of warm cherries, liquorice, moist earth and tobacco. Ripe and good.
The taste is broadshouldered and ripe with notes of cherry jam, raspberry liquorice, fried herbs and tobacco. A long, warm finish with fully integrated tannins. Very good. Another magnum, tasted last year was better.
88p (tasted 2016/02)
A fine, young, seedy nose with notes of sweet/sour cherries, violets, fresh rosemary, gravel and veal meat. Very ripe fruit, but in a laid back sort of way. A high, almost ethereal nose. Needs time to open up. There is future greatness here.
The taste is young, tight and intense with notes of red and black cherries, cigarette ashes, violets, Tuscan gravel and veal stock. The finish is long, structured and very promising. Really, really good now but give this baby another 6+ years and it will reach different, and even better heights.
94p (tasted 2016/02)
There is something wrong here. Not corked, but very, very weird. The nose is bitter and highly strung with lots of cold gravel, beets and stems.
The taste is seedy and bitter with red, unripe fruit and a high acidity. Something must have happened with this bottle, for a 04 Flaccianello can´t behave like this. Judgement reserved.
? (tasted 2016/02)
Aaaaah! Best wine of the evening. The nose is a cornucopia of ripe black cherries, violets, assorted herbs, undergrowth and warm tiles. Very impressive. Shows structure, power and refinement in one sniff, or several, which is what you would like to do with this. Gorgeous!
The taste is young, tight and intense with the ripest red and black cherries imaginable and additional notes of expensive tobacco, rosemary, Tuscan gravel and a hint of asphalt. The finish goes on for minutes. Stunning now and will go on being stunning for 10+ years. Gotta me more of this nectar.
97p (tasted 2016/03)
Too bad - corked beyond belief !#¤%"#%!
Other impressions (in Swedish) here & here.