tasting note 5
Le Fonti Vito Arturo 2000 IGT Toscana Sangiovese
This is a really interesting wine. Itís modern, yet itís classic,
at the same time. It shows a distinct sense of place, but it is made
by a leading consultant winemaker and spends 12 months in new
barriques. I like it a great deal.
Letís begin with the colour. It is red, as youíd
expect, but quite a faded, evolved shade of red. The nose just shouts
Italy, and more specifically Tuscan Sangiovese. Itís vivid and
bright with spice and complex dusty red fruits. Thereís some tar,
here, too, together with a sense of high acidity (itís possible to
detect this on the nose of some wines Ė a sort of lemony lift). The
palate is intensely savoury and initially very tight, with firm
tannins, a dusty earthiness, and high acidity, contributing freshness.
Thereís new oak present, but this meshes well with
the intense spicy fruit. Nothing stands out awkwardly. The wine is
classy and at ease with itself. If it is possible in a wine, this is
self-assured. As I mentioned, itís currently tight wound, but as the
evening progresses, it begins to open up. Beautifully, in fact, into
an intoxicatingly rich aromatic experience. The fruit gets deeper and
richer, with some chocolatey notes. The tannins become smoother;
perhaps more supple. Or am I imagining this? Itís hard to know
whether the wine is seducing me beyond its own physical merits.
Now four hours after opening, itís utterly seductive,
while maintaining a serious, structured edge and a distinctive
savouriness. Itís modern, but itís traditional, with a sense of
place. The new Old World Ė one of a growing band of compelling wines
from traditional regions but made in a newer style. This reminds me of
one of the moments from the movie Spina Tap - the 'new originals'.
Some context: Le Fonti has been family owned since
1956, but itís only with the new generation that this estate has
been ambitious. Paolo Caciorgna has been consultant winemaker here
since 1994, and since 1998 Lorenzo Benini has been viticulturalist. Of
the large estate, 25 hectares are under vine. This particular wine is
from a single vineyard replanted in 1991.
How do I score this? Itís a lovely wine that Iíve
enjoyed a great deal, and fairly serious to boot. It will probably
evolve nicely over the next decade, but is already drinking very well.
Iím going to push the boat out and give it 94/100 Ė a high score,
but on this performance, justified.
This wine comes from Cadman Fine Wines, www.cadmanfinewines.co.uk,
priced at £19.99
Roc des Anges; Gaillard;
Foundry and Columella; Meruge;
Foillard Morgon; Clonakilla
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