Tuesday, August 19, 2008


So what has become the source of a lot of my Italian wines these days – Palm Bay Imports – has picked up several great Italian producers for the American market, with recent additions like Planeta, Anselmi and Sella & Mosca, and now the wines of Castello di Fonterutoli, Col d’Orcia and Poliziano.

At this time, we are purchasing the three aforementioned producers via direct import – a circumstance where the distributor special orders the products from a supplier and it is “cleared” through the wholesaler, keeping cost down. We’re very excited to now carry these wines, because they represent some of the best “classic-style” Italian wines available in the U.S.

Castello di Fonterutoli, which is owned and operated by the Mazzei family since 1435, lies in the heart of the Chianti Classico region, just south of Castellina in Chianti. Headed by Lapo Mazzei and his sons Francesco and Filippo, they represent the 23rd and 24th generation of family winemakers at the estate.

The winery is known for 4 wines, however, with such limited space, we are currently only bringing in two: the Badiola 2006($15.97) and the Siepi 2003 ($99).

The Badiola 2006 is what one could call a “baby” super-Tuscan. A red blend of 75% Sangiovese and 25% Merlot, this medium-bodied wine is aged in French and American oak “barriques” for 9 months to lend to its soft and supple feel on the palate. There are loads of black and red berry fruit aromas and flavors, with hints of cocoa and tobacco for a delicious glimpse into Tuscany.

The Siepi 2003 is a 50-50 blend of Merlot and Sangiovese, aged completely in new French barriques for more opulence and intensity. The black and red berries are intermixed with mint and Provencal herbs. Quite powerful in its concentration, the creamy spice notes and well-integrated tannins give it propensity for a long life in the bottle.

Next time, we'll take a look at the Vino Nobile producer, Poliziano.

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