New vintages in Tuscany, especially 2016, were praised. The Super Tuscans of 2015 did not really convince us. So what about Chianti Classico and Flaccianello? Finally three different Californian reds.
The Fontodi 2015 Flaccianello boasts sour cherry and sloe. With a full-body, a high acidity and a lot of fine tannin this wine needs cellaring some more years. It also has a lot of wood with dark toast and power, but needs a lot of aeration. 18/20 points.
The Fontodi 2015 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Vigna del Sorbo also requires patience. It will also need some time to come around. Full-body, a lot of tannin, a lot of tannin and power shows the potential. Today the wine is a bit rustic. 17.5/20 points.
If you want to drink your Tuscan now then Felsina 2017 Chianti Classico Rancia Riserva is the better choice. It is open with blossoms and Amarena, medium- to full-body, balanced and elegant. With time there is also liquorice and it has a long finish.
All three Tuscans are made of 100% Sangiovese and will benefit from cellaring.
There seems to be only one winery which produces elegant and light-footed wines with such a high level of alcohol. And the new subscription just arrived: The Martinelli 2019 Zinfandel Jackass Vineyard has 16.6% alcohol but it is elegant and fruity. It is full of raspberry and butter and has a full-body, perfect density, an almost perverse fruit sweetness, a long finish and very fine tannin. 19/20 points.
The Ridge 2014 Monte Bello was opened some days ago and we hoped that it would evolve. Now it tastes like an Australian Shiraz with a lot of eucalyptus and cool fruit. It is too young now, it will need a lot of time, potential for 19/20 points.
This is one of the best Cabernet Franc in California but it always needs time: The La Jota 2009 Howell Mountain Cabernet Franc is earthy but with a lot of dark chocolate. It is full-bodied, dense and has a good structure with its leftover tannin and a long finish. 18.5/20 points.