Chianti Classico 2015, Fontodi
This is relatively high in alcohol, but you wouldn’t notice it; lovely, fragrant, fresh wine with rich, ripe dark cherry fruits, a good backbone of fine tannins, and a nice bite on the finish.
Drink with grilled or roast red meats; bistecca alla fiorentina would be perfect.
I came across the smiling face of Giovanni Manetti, proprietor of Fontodi, on Netflix recently. He was talking about local butcher Dario Cecchini, who featured on Chef’s Table. Dario is a famous larger than life character based in Panzano, close to Fontodi, with a passion for meat and traditional butchery; he runs a butcher’s shop and several restaurants in Panzano. Where Cecchini is loud, talkative and expressive, Manetti is relaxed and charming. His vineyards are organic (as are virtually all in Panzano), located on the Conca d’Oro (or golden shell) an amphitheatre of vines facing to the south.
The Manetti family (who make terracotta tiles and now amphorae for making wine too!) bought the estate in 1968 and have slowly restored it. Giovanni has been in charge since 1980. It is now recognised as one of the finest in Chianti Classico. His special crus, Vigna del Sorbo and Flaccianello are both highly sought-after, but I have followed the above wine for many years; it mellows beautifully with age, but can always be approached when young. It is also very reasonably priced.
Available from: Ely 64, Glasthule, Ely64.com; Clontarf Wines, Dublin 3 clontarfwines.ie; The Corkscrew, Dublin 2, thecorkscrew.ie; Drinkstore, D7, drinkstore.ie; Ely Wine Store, Maynooth; elywinebar.ie; Green Man Wines, Dublin 6, greenmanwines.ie; The Hole in the Wall, Dublin 7; McHughs, Dublin 5, mchughs.ie; Jus de Vine, Portmarnock, jusdevine.ie; he Malt House, Trim; Egan’s, Portlaoise; Sweeneys Wines, Glasnevin, sweeneyswines.ie; Terroirs, Dublin 4, Terroirs.ie; Wineonline.ie.