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.
“Although Fontodi is best known for their 100% Sangiovese Flaccianello – one of Italy’s most revered and coveted wines over the years it is the estate’s Chianti Classico Riserva Vigna del Sorbo that has built the more distinguished track record. Complete verticals of both wines over the last two years confirmed what has long been an intuition; Vigna del Sorbo is a more consistent performer than Flaccianello, ages better and is a much more finessed, pedigreed wine. Readers who aren’t familiar with Vigna del Sorbo owe it to themselves to check it out what is without question one of the great reds of Italy.”
Antonio Galloni on Fontodi’s Vigna del Sorbo, vinous.com, Feb 2014
“Fontodi’s remaining single-vineyard bottling is Vigna del Sorbo, since 2011 its Gran Selezione. The Vigna del Sorbo parcel is planted on the galestro soils of Panzano’s famed Conca d’Oro, an amphitheater of south- to southwest-facing vineyards that enjoy great terroir. In 1979, Manetti grafted the site’s Canaiolo and Malvasia Nera vines to Cabernet Sauvignon, thereby creating Vigna del Sorbo’s signature blend of Sangiovese (90 percent) and Cabernet Sauvignon (10 percent). The Cabernet component gives Vigna del Sorbo a modern feel, with a lush texture that’s also the result of malolactic conversion in barriques, 50 percent of which are new. The wine always shows plenty of dark fruit, with dense underlying tannins. As much about the texture as the flavours, Vigna del Sorbo has shone consistently for the past two decades.”
Bruce Sanderson on “Tuscany’s Grand Cru”, Wine Spectator, Oct 2016
“The 2016 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Vigna del Sorbo is another benchmark wine from Tuscany that shows the incredible potential of this iconic vintage. This beautiful single-vineyard Sangiovese reveals a graceful side with dark fruit intensity, cherry, plum, fresh violets and tilled earth. Tar, tobacco and licorice appear as delicate background tones, giving more volume and texture to the wine’s sensorial impact. Vigna del Sorbo shows its own precise identity that is fiercely faithful to Sangiovese, but that also pushes the boundaries to go beyond our highest expectations of the grape in terms of colour, concentration, aromatic complexity and staying power. That’s the Panzano magic in a nutshell.”
98 points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, July 2019
“This is always an entrancing Gran Selezione and the 2016 shows dried raspberries, boysenberries, vanilla and brambleberries. Full-bodied and tightly wound with eye-catching minerality. The acidity sharpens out the exuberant red fruit perfectly. Incredible length and drinkability. Is this better even than the great 2015? I think so. From organically grown grapes. Drink in 2023.”
98 points, JamesSuckling.com, June 2019
“The 2016 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Vigna del Sorbo is a wine of tremendous aromatic intensity, freshness and nuance. Sweet floral and spice notes meld into a core of blue/purplish fruit, lavender, licorice and leather, with veins of bright acids that perk things up nicely. Readers need to be patient with the 2016, as it is going to need at least a few years to come into its own. But I have seen this before with Vigna del Sorbo. Sometimes the more reticent vintages turn out the be the most complete and thrilling wines with cellaring. I imagine that will be the case here as well. 2022-2041.”
97+ points, Antonio Galloni vinous.com, Aug 2019