La Fiorita Brunello: Metaphor for Harmony
Along with a small group of wine lovers, I joined Natalie Oliveros and Roberto Cipresso in New York for an intimate luncheon and tasting of wines from their La Fiorita winery.
Located in Montalcino, Italy, La Fiorita produces earthy, rich Brunello, the kind that tempts fine wine lovers and Sangiovese geeks alike.
Cipresso, a self-described “wine tailor” interested in putting together different vineyard expressions of Sangiovese, explained that “…Montalcino is a magic mountain…” and that the expression of terroir is that “magic moment” when wine becomes emotion.
Lunch kicked off with La Fiorita’s Rosato 2013 which was enjoyable and immensely drinkable, setting the right mood for what was to come.
Wines were served in a single flight during lunch, providing a great opportunity to taste each of the wines alone, compare them to one another, and to experience each one paired with wonderful food plates prepared by La Masseria:
La Fiorita’s Brunello 2007 is typical of the vintage with a soft, warm palate, sporting bigger tannins than the 2008, more muted fruit, while the Brunello 2008 set a deeper, darker tone, moody and magnificent (available in California, not yet on East Coast).
Cipresso’s Brunello 2006 Riserva has gained even more harmony since my last tasting of that wine in 2013. Complex aromatics, mouth filling density, muscular yet supple. A long life ahead of that one. (for more on this particular wine, see my article, link below). The 2004 Riserva, on the other hand, is a more delicate, refined Brunello, ripe and silky tannins, super elegant with the lightness of fine Burgundy. Ethereal.
Cipresso is not so much interested in the macro view of Brunello as in exploring the possibilities of different growing areas. Interestingly, La Fiorita is a couple of vintages behind many peer producers as they prefer to hold their wines longer, meeting mandatory wood aging requirements for the denomination, but keeping the wines for additional aging in bottle – 30 months, in fact, for the Riserva bottling.
As a group, the wines are connected by unifying suites of ripe, fine tannins and an astounding harmony of elements that are at once both interdependent and independent, not unlike melody lines in the musical counterpoint of JS Bach.
A great tasting of La Fiorita Brunello, intelligent, selfless, wines of depth, beauty and structure, that serve to enrich all that we know about Montalcino and Brunello.
You can read more about La Fiorita and the Brunello 2006 Riserva in my related article here.