M.L. Fioretti Santinovo I.G.T. Toscana Rosso 2021

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Under his own label, M.L. Fioretti, Matthew Fioretti, the manager of the famous Cerbaiona estate in Montalcino, also produces small quantities of truly fantastic wines from his vineyards in the Pienza region and fruit sourced elsewhere, often from previously abandoned vineyards. These wines, often made from (blends with) French grape varieties reach an unprecedented level of quality. Matthew and his winemaker/enologist craft exceptionally expressive, pure, aromatic, full-bodied, complex wines with the finest tannins you’ve ever tasted. We tasted them blindly alongside a few highly renowned wines and Matthew’s wines truly stood head and shoulders above the rest, truly remarkable!

Santinovo is a Cabernet-Franc – Cabernet-Sauvignon blend, made from fruit from the Monteriggione region. It is an incredibly pure, fine, full-bodied wine that outperformed a few very highly regarded wines. The grapes were destemmed but not crushed and placed in a new 25hl wooden vat for a cold maceration of 4 days, followed by 10 days of fermentation at a maximum of 26°C, and then an additional 2 days of extended maceration. Only free-run juice was used (no press wine!), which was then placed partly in new barrels, partly in non-porous amphorae.
The result is an exceptional Cabernet blend with a deep colour, a beautiful aroma of dark fruit, and a creamy, smooth, full-bodied flavour with incredibly fine, velvety tannins on the very long finish. This wine already holds a cult status, making it quite challenging to acquire.

Oh, and there are no scores for these wines anywhere. Matthew finds it rather absurd to reduce wine to a numerical rating, a sentiment we can certainly agree with. Reviews can be written, but no points are assigned, which is why most reviewers don’t even bother.

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