“Rosso di Montalcino sometimes gets overlooked in the rush to focus solely on Brunello. That’s a shame, as the best Rossos offer pedigreed expressions of Sangiovese from this magical hillside town and its surrounding vineyards.” Antonio Galloni, founder/ owner of Vinous media in New York, goes on to say that Fuligni produces, “One of Montalcino’s benchmark Rossos.”
The Fuligni family have their roots in Venice, which is depicted with the cities symbol of a Lion on the Fuligni Rosso’s label. Though in 1770 the family received some land in the Tuscan coastal region of Maremma, before settling further inland, in Montalcino in the early 1900’s. They established their Montalcino winery in 1923, before the regions struggles during World War II, and well before the regions boom period and international fame recognition that it has enjoyed since 1970. The Estate is now owned by Maria Flora Fuligni and Roberto Guerrini Fuligni. The Estate is set on a 16th century Medici. The grounds are as stunning as the wines.
Brunello and Montalcino have become 'household names' amongst winelovers over the past 40 to 50 years, and Fuligni has been a constant source of quality. The winery is set on rocky terrain on the North-Eastern boundary of Montalcino, comprising 4 vineyards that total almost 11 hectares. This keeps production at a slim 3500 to 4000 dozen, depending on vintage conditions. Fuligni has long been a favourite of Press Wines as a quality Montalcino source (Rosso or Brunello), because of its consistent quality, restrained power, classic elegance and finesse, and long-term age-ability. It exemplifies what is great about Montalcino, pure expression of the Sangiovese grape, with power, rusticity and class.
Fuligni ensure they achieve this through extremely low yields (heavy green harvest), and fruit sorting before ferments, to make sure only the best grapes makes the cut. This is a rare attention to detail for Rosso di Montalcino wines.
For those new to the region, Montalcino is in Southern Tuscany, further south than Chianti Classico, hence slightly warmer, though at higher elevation and protected from extremes by mountains to the east and south. The elevation of Fuligni’s vineyards are 380 meters and 450 meters. Brunello and Rosso di Montalcino also rely on the use of a single, unique, morphed clone of Sangiovese, with no other variety allowed for blending. This ensures absolute purity of Sangiovese, and providing, in Fuligni’s eyes, a fresh, mid-weight wine with red/ black fruits, chewy structure and searing acidity. It is the purest expression of Sangiovese and produces some of the best and most long-lived wines of Tuscany.
2015 (and 2016) were magical years in Montalcino, with Fuligni’s current winemaker Roberto Guerrini saying that he ‘is almost speechless when I try to talk about these two vintages”. After a wet winter, the summer was warm, and yields were down. This meant good concentration, which is a positive for Fuligni’s relatively cooler sites.
The wine is long and rich with sweet red cherry, black and blue berry, whilst retaining a lovely freshness. There is a lick of fresh mint, tobacco, spice and some orange peel which is often found in central and southern Italian reds. With a few years already on it, it is looking great now, though will confidently age through until 2026.
The wine has scored 94 from Italian wine nut, James Suckling, and 91 points from the equally Italy-obsessive, but scrupulously tough marker, Galloni at Vinous. Fuligni’s Brunello di Montalcino from the same vintage scored 100 points from Suckling, and whilst a couple of years from release, will be a wine to have a good look at.
We hope you enjoy the wine. Decant and check for sediment, it can spend between 30 minutes and 3 hours to continue to open up. Grilled dark meats is the go here, or richer style red sauce pastas, or a bit of homemade lasagna.
Tom and Dan