Calling all FoPs…

by Laura Gray on March 14, 2019

Although our cellar is now seven years old, we have yet to stop calling it The New Cellar. The wonderful cantina, designed by local architect (and now neighbour), Marco Pignattai, was completed in time for harvest 2012. If you have 90 seconds to spare, here’s a pre-Instagram chronicle of the erection of 500 square metres (5.500 square feet) of new build embedded into the hillside at the top of a rather steep road.

2012 was the first vintage to be vinified in the new cellar, benefitting from the gravity-fed design, fermentation in wood barrels, vibrating sorting table and so on. 2012 is considered to be a five star vintage. We bottled our production in December 2016 after 46 months of wood aging (nearly double the minimum requirements). The Brunello DOCG regulations rightly insist on a minimum 4 month period of bottle aging (Long Live Brunello anyone?). As a result our production of 8.034 bottles of Brunello 2012 were only released in April 2017. The vintage was acclaimed as “a return to finesse” by Kerin O’Keefe who instructed those who love elegant, age-worthy Sangiovese to stock up.

Unbeknownst to our customers we had set aside just over 1.000 liters of 2012 vintage. The idea had been to create a commemorative limited edition bottling of the first wine vinified in the new cellar. This different composition of our three vineyards spent 58 months in wood and is an experiment of which we are extremely proud. The total production is just 1.372 bottles that were bottled in Februrary 2018 and available from last summer onwards.

This wine is not a Riserva. One of the DOCG obligations that must be fulfilled in order to write Riserva on the label is making a formal declaration with intended quantities before 31 December of the year prior to vintage release i.e. we will need to determine before 31.12.19 whether or not we produce a 2015 Riserva and how much since the 2015 vintage is slated for release in 2020.

Nor is it a “cru”, since it does not come from a single vineyard, and this designation also has a series of ramifications and obligatory paperwork that must be followed from day one of the harvest.

In the end, much as personally I enjoy commissioning new artwork there is no special label nor are the bottles are numbered. You would need to know to look for a small lot number change on the right hand side of the label. We have decided, given that we are Not Producing a 2014 Brunello, to sell this wine only on site.

If you are visiting the cellar and have a yen to try this sublime savory Sunday-lunch of a wine, or have visited in the past and wish to avail yourself of your life-long FOP privileges, just let me know. First come, first served; 114 cases is not a huge number all things considered….

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