La Fiorita was founded in 1992 by consultant winemaker Roberto Cipresso. In the mid-noughties Cipresso helped American actor Natalie Oliveros make her own wine, under her acting name. Hailing from Rochester, New York State, she’d become interested in wine after marrying a wine merchant, who she met while she was working in a New York bar.
Oliveros later fell in love with La Fiorita and invested in it in 2011 (she left her acting career in 2010), eventually buying the whole estate in 2014 with the help of a silent partner. Oliveros lives in Manhattan, but is clearly really into this project, having planted further vineyards. I tried four wines: two vintages of the Rosso, the rosé, and also the top wine, Fiori di NO.
La Fiorita Ninfalia Toscano Rosato 2020 Italy
12.5% alcohol. It’s great to see rosé being taken seriously. Pale pink in colour, this is fine and delicate with really beautifully balanced cherry, pear and citrus fruit. Texturally, this is beautiful with fine-grained structure and some mandarin brightness. Very fine and pure, and although it’s primary at the moment, there’s some personality showing through. 92/100
La Fiorita Rosso di Montalcino 2018 Tuscany, Italy
14% alcohol. Aged in 5000 litre botti. I really like this wine. So classically proportioned, with some sweet floral cherry and redcurrant aromatics, but also restraint and a touch of savouriness. In the mouth, there’s that beautifully Italian combination of fresh, supple red fruits, some sour cherry, and firm structure and bright acidity. A touch of austerity, but not too much, with the supple fruit leading the way. Very fine and quite elegant, and although this is young and structured, it offers a lot of appeal now. An expressive wine that has the potential for development, and shows the classic, more traditional side of Montalcino wine. Better than many Brunellos, I reckon. 93/100
La Fiorita Rosso di Montalcino 2019 Tuscany, Italy
14% alcohol. Supple, bright, gravelly, tarry black fruits nose with a savoury twist to the fruit. The palate has some sweet cherry and berry fruits, but also a grainy, savoury, slightly earthy edge. But it’s very fine and expressive, with notes of dried herbs and iodine as well as the compact, well defined fruit. Very Sangiovese, but with some refinement and a sense of balance and elegance, despite the savouriness and the structure. A lovely example of Rosso di Montalcino that straddles the fruit/savoury structure tension very well. 91/100
La Fiorita Fiori di NO 2015 Brunello di Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
15% alcohol. The NO refers to the name of the owner: Natalie Oliveros. This is a special selection of the best parcels of her domaine, only made in the top years. In 2015 it came from two vineyards: Pian Bassolino (360 m, galestro soils) and Poggio al Sole (220 m, tufo/clay soils). Matured in large French oak (2600 litres). Slightly reticent on opening (actually, very reticent!), it flourishes after a while, and offers ripe, textured black cherry and plum fruit supported by grainy, savoury, stony, tar-like notes with a touch of cedar spice and some tea leaf and chalk hints. There’s volume and smoothness to the palate, but it also has good structure and some spicy framing. A complex, multidimensional wine built for the long haul, with some alcoholic warmth adding to the smoothness of the nicely textured fruit. 94/100 In the UK it retails for around £100 (Hedonism had this for £128, but it’s currently out of stock).
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