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NEW RELEASE : 2019 Concerto di Fonterutoli - the finest vintage yet of an authentic Super Tuscan

September 2021

2019 Concerto di Fonterutoli, Mazzei 

£228 per 6 bottle case in bond

 

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We last offered Concerto di Fonterutoli in the impressive 2016 vintage. This is a wine that I have rated very highly and frankly I could easily have offered the 2018 vintage had it fitted our schedule. However, I am glad I have waited as the 2019 represents a step up in quality and must rank as the most compelling vintage of this Tuscan blend that the Mazzei Family has made.
 
Concerto is a blend of 80% Sangiovese and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon – what might be termed a ‘Super Tuscan’ and, consistent with Filippo Mazzei’s philosophy, Concerto is only made in very finest vintages. Fonterutoli is one Tuscan estate that is truly steeped in history; it has been owned by the Mazzei family since 1435. This estate was one of the first to focus on quality, with an extensive replanting programme undertaken in the 1970s when they introduced Bordeaux grape varieties and ageing in French barriques. This was long before many other Tuscan estates had acknowledged the unreliability of the prevalent clones of Sangiovese. Today the estate is run by Filippo Mazzei, who is on record as stating that he ‘doesn’t believe in 100 percent Sangiovese wines, one year they’re great, the next they’re worth nothing’. He goes on to say that ‘in years like 2006 and 2004, okay 100 percent Sangiovese is possible. In years like 2005 or 2003, it’s difficult…I prefer to be consistent and tell people exactly what I am doing.’ As I have said before, it may be that these comments predate the run of vintages that Tuscany has witnessed since 2010, when perhaps we have seen consistently warmer summers and full ripeness has not proven tricky to achieve, but Filippo Mazzei follows his own philosophy, and the wines speak for themselves. That said, the Mazzei range has extended to include several Chianti made purely from Sangiovese, which is unsurprising given the impressive clones available to them.
 
Based a couple of kilometres from Castellina in the Chianti district, this estate covers 117 hectares under vine. Their vineyards are divided into five different subzones, where altitudes vary from 200 to 500 metres, and with as many as 120 distinct parcels. The fruit for Concerto comes from the Fonterutoli vineyard as well as the Siepi vineyard, the name given to the estate’s prestigious Sangiovese and Merlot blend. Both vineyards are based on decomposed limestone and sandstone, with the age of the vines spanning 18 to 33 years. Concerto, as mentioned, is a blend of 80:20 Sangiovese and Cabernet; it was first released in 1981, when the Super Tuscan movement was getting underway.
 
I include firstly my note and then Jane Anson’s as published on janeanson.com – no other prominent critic seems to have reviewed the 2019 vintage yet.

2019 Concerto di Fonterutoli, Mazzei
£228 per 6 bottle case in bond

Deep in the glass, the aromas are beautifully expressed, something floral overlays juicy dark reds fruits, and the merest hint of toast. Often Sangiovese can be dwarfed by the more assertive Cabernet but here the blend works perfectly with neither variety out of kilter. The Sangiovese brings lively red berry characters, touches of spice and an abundant, juicy mouthfeel, yet the Cabernet fills out, lends structure and brings dusky fruits and a certain savoury complexity. This is a glossy, textural Super Tuscan, but there is something authentic about it; it isn’t screaming modern winemaking, instead it is subtle, complex and ripe. A remarkably pure example that from recollection is likely to exceed my lofty praise of the 2016 vintage. Why? The Mazzei family has worked hard to bring a more precise and detailed expression to life…the more refined approach to winemaking is in evidence across their enviable portfolio of new releases. Drink 2024-2040 (SL)

97 points, Jane Anson, janeanson.com 
This is savoury, dry in the best possible way, with a ton of red fruits, dried roses and herbs, and waves of fragrance. It’s a successful blend where the Sangiovese is dominant, conferring the wine with its warm personality but the Cabernet Sauvignon adds a touch of austerity to the tannins and a sense of quiet confidence. Turmeric and olive tapenade as it opens, alongside raspberry, red cherry and smoky oak, the whole thing both extremely delicate and intensely fragrant. Can drink now with a short carafe - there are tannins here but they are well defined and finely layered - but it will also age. Small amounts of the 2018 were released last winter, but this September sees the first proper release through the Place de Bordeaux. Ageing 18 months in small French oak barrels, 70% new, plus four months in concrete tanks afterwards. One to look out for - great stuff from the Mazzei family, that has been making wine in Tuscany since the 15th century. Drink 2023-2035

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One final point: the wines from the Mazzei portfolio are now distributed via the Bordeaux Place, so through an extensive global network of négociants, which has led to greater clarity on price points, hence the fact the 2019 is offered at a very reasonable £228 per 6 bottle case in bond compared to the 2016 we last offered at £265. At this price, I think it offers striking value.
 
Please let us know of your interest.
 
All the best,
 
Simon


To request a wine, please do not hesitate to contact any member of the Atlas team. We can be reached on +44 (0) 20 3017 2299, info@atlasfinewines.com or by submitting the form below. Please note that stock may be limited and is always sold on a 'first come, first serve' basis. 

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Atlas Fine Wines Ltd. 

4-5 Castle Court  
London EC3V 9DL
T: +44 (0) 20 3017 2299
F: +44 (0) 20 3017 2290
W: atlasfinewines.com 
E: info@atlasfinewines.com