Tag Archives: Fuligni

The thing that impressed me most about the wines I tried at Vinitaly?

Easy.

Vintage 2010 Brunello.

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Normally I give myself an afternoon in Tuscany to try as many wines as I can from not only the producers I import but also from those that I love to drink. And for the 2010 vintage for Montalcino, I couldn’t pull myself away from Tuscany and spent time the next morning trying even more 2010 Brunello. These wines are amazing. So complete and complex it is staggering.

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After so much controversy in the past in Montalcino, it is fantastic to see a string of strong vintages to bring this town back and centre in the eyes of the wine loving public. I tried as many of my favourite wines as possible and it included wineries like Gorelli, Fuligni, Costanti, Il Poggione and La Fortuna.

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Of course I got to visit the producers I represent like Biondi Santi, Il Palazzone (we also import Soldera and have our own label but obviously these wines were not at Vinitaly) and the good news is that in the next couple of weeks we will have a second allocation of the 2010 Il Palazzone plus the first allocations of Biondi Santi and Fratelli D’Anna.

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Pretty exciting time for the wine loving public in Oz who are going to be hit between the eyes with some of the best Brunello they have ever tasted with the 2010 vintage Brunello.

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Vinitaly Day 2: lot’s of great wines and people…

If I take one thing away from Vinitaly 2015 it is that vintage 2010 Brunello is a once in a generation vintage. The wines across the board we of such a high standard that I think the quality level overall may even be higher than 2010 Barolo. Yesterday we tried the wines of Fuligni, Cupano, Costanti, Siro Pacenti, La Fortunata and Gorelli.

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The 2010 Brunello from these producers were off the charts. What was also pleasing to see was that the 2009 Brunello have come along better than I thought and are actually drinking really well today.

Another highlight was sitting down with the legendary Emidio Pepe and his granddaughter Chiara who has the same spark as her grandfather.

The legendary Emidio Pepe.
The legendary Emidio Pepe.

The previous day we tried a vertical of Trebbiano spanning twenty years which was good but the fact the sommelier’s did not check the bottles when poured meant that there were some wines which should have been in the tasting.

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Today we looked at Montepulciano spanning four decades. These wines were off the charts in quality and complexity and illustrated to me why Emidio Pepe is considered as one of the best wineries in Italy.

Today we drive to Alba and concentrate on Barolo and Barbaresco for the next three days which will be great.

Brunello di Montalcino: baby it’s back…

Over the last few months I have had some magnificent bottles of Brunello that have left me gobsmacked. Fuligni http://www.fuligni.it/eng/azienda_en.html has featured strongly in this with a bottle of the 1990 up there with one of the best bottles I have drunk from 2011. The bottle of 1990 was shared with friends at one of our favorite restaurants. It was paired with some other great wines (like 1989 Viette Castiglione Barolo) and it was by far, head and shoulders above all other wines on the night.

This week I have had a bottle of the 2004 Fuligni and it again left me in awe of it’s quality. Sometimes you just need to be reminded by great bottles, just how GREAT some varieties are. I have always loved to buy and drink Brunello. However, I no longer import into Australia as I have found that most of the Brunello producers I have spoken with treat it as a business first, and then as a labor of love second. I prefer the other way round. I am heading to Montalcino for a couple of days shortly and I can’t wait. Will I find some other outstanding producers? Or will they all pale into comparison?

At the moment the likes of Fuligni already imported into Australia (and with a fantastic importer who has championed Brunello for many many years), it seems pointless to import and promote a winery when you know they are just second best. If you see bottles of 2001, 2004 and 2006 Fuligni Brunello buy them. They will be treasures (like the 1990) in years to come. The 2006 Brunello Riserva has yet to be released, but big things are expected. When it is released in Australia, hold onto your horses as we will all be in for a great ride…

A more detailed look at Fuligni:

http://www.fuligni.it/eng/azienda_en.html

HISTORY

The Fuligni Viscounts, a long-standing Venetian family, moved to England in the 14th century at the head of a troop of mercenaries at the service of Edward III. With the succession of the Absburg- Lorraine to the Grand Duchy, Luigi Fuligni was transferred to Tuscany as general of the new sovereignty and, around 1770, received an extensive concession of land in the Maremma from the Grand Duke, Pietro Leopoldo. Fuligni’s task was to see to the reclamation of the land as was the wish of the enlightened monarch. Giovanni Maria Fuligni settled in Montalcino at the beginning of 1900 and started to produce wine just as his family had previously done predominantly in the area around Scansano in the Maremma. The Fuligni Estate in Montalcino, directed by Maria Flora Fuligni consists of approximately 100 hectares of land at varying exposures to the sun. The vines, which extend over about ten hectares, are situated on the eastern part of the hill, a traditional area for Brunello. The cellars are located at Cottimelli (about three kilometers from Montalcino in the direction of Siena) in an original 18th century residence once the home of Medicean Grand Dukes. Wine tastings are also held on the premises in recently restored rooms which used to accommodate a small monastery of monks in the 16th century.

ESTATE

The Fuligni Estate spreads over approximately one hundred fully-cultivated hectares of land in an almost continual strip on the eastern side of Montalcino where, historically, the most authentic production of Brunello emerged. The vines, which extend over ten hectares, are primarily located at Cottimelli at altitudes varying from 380 to 450 meters above sea level. Here, the land, which predominantly faces east, belongs entirely to the Santa Fiora (marl) geological formation of Eocene origin and is made up of a prevalently rocky terrain.

VINEYARDS

The vines, which extend over ten hectares, are primarily located at Cottimelli at altitudes varying from 380 to 450 meters above sea level. Here, the land, which predominantly faces east, belongs entirely to the Santa Fiora (marl) geological formation of Eocene origin and is made up of a prevalently rocky terrain. New vines have been planted facing southeast on land which is a mix of “tufo” and clay. The average age of the vines is about twelve years while some others date back over thirty years preserving the old Sangiovese clones of the estate with a lesser density per hectare. The cultivation system is the classic two-strand trellis with a limited load of buds per plant and with a density which varies from 3.333 to 5.000 main stems per hectare. A thorough pruning is done which involves the important process of thinning out the grapes to ensure a yield per hectare ranging, on average, from 50 to 55 hundred kilos of grapes. The harvest is done manually and includes the personal participation of the owners with frequently repeated walks between the rows of vines to guarantee a rigorous selection of grapes. The various Fuligni vineyards, S. Giovanni, Il Piano, Ginestreto and La Bandita are harvested separately according to their type of land and exposure, and are subsequently brought together keeping in mind the type of wine they are destined to become (Brunello, Brunello Reserve, Rosso DOC).

The crazy little thing called Christmas…

My wife always knows when Christmas is getting closer. Longer hours, shorter temper and more dinners drinking great wines sometimes with her, sometimes without her 🙂

Whilst is a crazy time of year, I do love December. It seems like you work like crazy, then balance it all with some great family time together and then, as always, a very lazy January. This year has been even busier and I can’t really complain with family, work and life all treating pretty well.

So far, I had to pick my favourite wine of December is would have to be the freakin amazing 1990 Fuligni Brunello di Montalcino served around a table amongst friends at one of our favourite restaurants called Scopri. For some reason, when I sit down at dinner with fellow Italian wine lovers, I do not tweet or take photo’s of bottles. It doesn’t matter. This is the best bottle of Brunello I have drunk. Period.

Tonight as I am about to eat a bowl of Pasta alla norma and drink a glass of the Fuligni Rosso di Montalcino, it reminds me of just how great that bottle was. And that is what December is all about: sharing great bottles of wine with friends.

Tomorrow night I am heading back to Scopri with my tasting group and no doubt the December theme of sharing great bottles with friends will continue. More on the later in the week….!