Fonterutoli is located 5 km south of Castellina in Chianti (Siena), on the hills facing the Val d’Elsa, in the heart of the Chianti Classico. Owned by the Mazzei family since 1435, it still retains its original form, that of a tranquil country village: a cluster of houses, the church of San Miniato and the villa, built at the end of the 1500s where the medieval castle once stood. Today, the estate comprises 117 hectares of vineyard, largely planted with Sangiovese with some Merlot, Colorino, Malvasia Nera and Cabernet Sauvignon vines also planted. The cellar at Fonterutoli, designed by architect, Agnesi Mazzei, is one of the most impressive in the region, and has a minimal impact on the environment.
Siepi is a 6 hectare vineyard located 260 metres above sea level with south, south-west exposure. The soil is mainly Alberese and the average vineyard age is 13 – 26 years. Spur cordon-training and Guyot training systems are used and 4,500-6,500 vines are planted per hectare.
Siepi’s exposure is unique. The vineyard is situated on a plateau that is well lit throughout the day and that is surrounded by an oak forest, creating a perfect micro-climate and a high diurnal range.
Harvest: Hand picked August 12th (Merlot), September 22nd (Sangiovese)
Vinification: 26 – 28° C, in stainless steeel tanks
Period of maceration: 14 (Merlot), 18 (Sangiovese) days
Ageing: 18 months in french oak barrels (70% new): Barriques (Merlot), Tonneaux (Sangiovese)
Finissage: 4 months in concrete tanks
Bottling: June 2020
Production: 38000 bottles
2018 was characterised by a dynamic winter with northern currents in December and February. The mild January temperatures were accompanied by abundant rainfall, both of snow and rain, which offset the serious water deficit of the previous years. Spring saw temperatures above the seasonal average together with copious rainfall. Buudding took place earlier this year but without any issues. From the middle of June temperatures started to rise again and in the Chianti Classico area, the summer was good with uniform rainfall. September was marked by a series of sunny days with big diurnal differences which allowed the grapes to reach the correct phenolic and aromatic ripeness. IA very satisfying harvest from a quantitative and, especially, a qualitative point of view.
Beginning of the harvest: September 12th
End of the harvest: October 8th
Rainfalls (sum of rainfall between April 1st and September 30th): 491 mm
Temperature Index (sum of average daily temperatures from April 1st to September 30th): 3666 °C
Evaluation: Very good
Monumentally built, crispy notes of elder, plum, berries, sandalwood, tobacco, with a very long, bright finish
Flavorful, textured dishes, dark sauces, game, blue cheeses
“Siepi, Fonterutoli’s Merlot/Sangiovese blend, is absolutely gorgeous in 2018. Rich, pliant and creamy,
Siepi oers all of the seductiveness of Merlot with the bright acids and grip of Sangiovese. Inky
blue/purplish fruit, lavender, dried herbs, spice, licorice and new leather meld together in an
open-knit, inviting Tuscan red with no hard edges and tons of allure shaped by alberese soils with a
good bit of clay. e 2018 is an undeniably sexy wine with so much immediacy.
Siepi (the wine) is built on a core of holdings from Siepi, a historic property dating back to the 1400s,
plus holdings from the broader Fonterutoli estate. Merlot and Sangiovese lots are harvested, vinied
and aged separately. e 2018 saw long macerations 20 or more days, followed by 16-17 months in
French oak, with a preference for 225L barrels for Merlot and larger 500L tonneaux for the
Sangiovese, which also spent a bit less time in oak. e nal blend was assembled and then the wine
spent 5-6 months in cement, a recent change made for the rst time in 2017 that really seems to let
the purity of the fruit come out. e 2018 is positively stellar and also one of the very best editions in
recent memory. Don’t miss it.”
97 pts ANTONIO GALLONI
“Extremely perfumed and crystal-clear with violets, plums, raspberries, walnuts and black olives. It’s
medium to full bodied with very ne tannins that are extremely polished and rened.e lenght is
long and very precise. Chocolate and hazelnuts.”
97 pts JAMES SUCKLING
“I tasted this wine in a preview capacity a few months back and am coming back now with a nal review.
e lovely 2018 Siepi, from old vines of Sangiovese and Merlot, comes out roaring. I have long been a
fan of this historic wine that so carefully blends the fruity freshness and bright avors of the Tuscan
grape with the so and succulent background tones of the French counterpart. ese two sides achieve
elegance and balance in this classic vintage. To the palate, the wine is eshed out and texturally rich. I’m
happily settling on the higher part of the range of scores I had previously published. e wine has come
together in seamless fashion with that extra bottle aging.”
96 pts MONICA LARNER