||50% Sangiovese, 50% Merlot
||Aromas of berries and sandalwood
Crispy notes of elder, plum, berries, sandalwood, tobacco, with a very long, bright finish.
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.
The winter of 2020 was cold with moderate rainfall. After a cool spring with adequate, well-spaced showers, the wide diurnal temperature range over the long hot summer was sufficient to ensure a smooth and problem-free ripening of the grapes. The process was also helped by rains in June and September which reduced water stress, and by an absence of pests or disease.
A season characterised by average temperatures and well-spaced rainfall gave rise to a highly satisfying harvest of top-quality grapes. With their thick skins and well-ripened phenols, these grapes will produce wines which combine fullness and structure with balance and freshness. The one less positive note was a lower yield due to a few cold nights in early April which affected bud burst in areas where this took place early.
Hand picked from September 7th (Merlot), September 21st (Sangiovese)
Fermentation: 26 – 28° C, in stainless steeel tanks
Period of maceration: 14 days (Merlot), 18 days (Sangiovese)
Ageing: 18 months in french oak barrels (70% new):
Barriques (Merlot), Tonneaux (Sangiovese)
Finissage: 3 months in concrete tanks
Bottling: July 2022
Available on the market: October 2022
Production: 29,000 bottles
James Suckling 98 points
Graphite and lead pencil is coming through, together with violets and blackberries. Some tar and asphalt, too. Full-bodied, yet creamy and crunchy, with agile liveliness that goes on for minutes. Fabulous length. Drinkable already, but will age gracefully for decades.
Decanter 98 points
Dried herbs and sweet spices on the nose, forest notes with bramble fruits, concentrated and expressive. Such a smooth delivery on the palate, tannins glide across the tongue giving the sweet strawberry. raspberry and plum fruit time to expand in the mouth as the acidity gives a mouthwatering aspect. This is very much on the lively and vibrant fruit – shouting loudly about its energy. Feels extremely well made clear definition, finesse and balance. Such a gorgeous fruit profile, the high-toned strawberry and cherry, bright and piercing, yet also round and generous with tobacco and wood nuances. Ample tannins are tine but present, giving support. All round an exceptionally beautiful wine. I love this. Giving such immediate and youthful enjoyment but this will continue to agewell.Ageing18 months in French oak barrels (70%new), barriques (Merlot), tonneaux (Sangiovese). followed by four months in concrete tanks. Drinking window: 2023 – 2045
Jane Anson 96 points
So juicy, with so much tension and elegance. I just love the part that Sangiovese plays in this wine, capturing signature flavours and character from the site, adding nuance to the tar, liqourice, sage, rosemary, Chinese spice, savoury red fruits. The 2019 vintage of this wine was stunning, but you are not going to go far wrong with the 2020. The Mazzei family, in the wine business since 1435, and as with so many Italian wines this is just so effortlessly food-friendly, you are practically picking up the phone to invite friends over as you finish the first glass. Gionata Pulignani winemaker, 14 days maceration for Merlot, 18 days for Sangiovese, 70% new oak (with a slightly shorter ageing for Sangiovese), then kept in bottle for 4 months before release. Drinking Window 2023 – 2040
Vinous 96 points
The 2020 Siepi is classy, elegant and super-polished. Inky blue fruit, lavender, new leather, cloves and mocha all meld together effortlessly. There is a sense of precision in the 2020 that is incredibly inviting. Even so, the 2020 is very young and not fully expressing its potential. This just needs time to emerge, but all the elements are there. Drinking Window 2026 – 2040
Wine Advocate 95 points
Equal parts Merlot and Sangiovese, the Mazzei 2020 Siepi is a terrific vintage in a long line of wines that I had the pleasure of tasting through last year in a complete retrospective. The first vintage produced was 1992. The soils in the Siepi vineyard are especially deep, and the site is surrounded by forests to keep it cool. These conditions give rise to abundant aromas of sweet black cherry, underbrush and blue wild flower. This is a medium to full-bodied Tuscan red that shows enormous elegance and depth. Drinking Window 2023 – 2040