The organically grown 2021 Fontaleoni Vernaccia di San Gimignano owes it unique flavor, freshness, and longevity to San Gimignano’s much lauded rare Vernaccia clones, which thrive in the environs of this spired town, as well as to the Troiani family’s devotion to the vine. Whereby most Tuscan whites rely upon the more innocuous and ubiquitous Trebbiano and Malvasia grape varieties, Vernaccia di Gimignano must be comprised predominantly or entirely of Vernaccia. The 2021 Fontaleoni Vernaccia di San Gimignano is produced from 100% Vernaccia di San Gimignano from the estate. It cuts a brilliant figure in the glass as it throws a bright glow, a combination of the soft green of the magical landscape and the golden yellow glow of the Tuscan sun. Fresh and highly aromatic, the 2021 Fontaleoni Vernaccia offers up a tantalizing draught of fruit along with the intoxicating scent of almond blossoms. In the mouth, pure racy fruit melds with hints of raw almond and bergamot, all of which are infused with a gentle minerality that leaves the palate refreshed. The 2021 Fontaleoni Vernaccia di San Gimignano offers plenty of flavor, yet it goes down easily and keeps you coming back for more. Fontaleoni’s Vernaccia di San Gimignano will mature gracefully in bottle for at least two more years, but we found it hard to resist in the bloom of its youth. For optimal enjoyment we suggest only moderate chilling (40º-45° F). Anticipated maturity: 2022-2026. Enjoy!
Although wonderfully fresh and rich in flavor on its own and as an aperitif, the true glory of the 2021 Fontaleoni Vernaccia di San Gimignano is how beautifully it pairs with food. Fontaleoni’s Vernaccia has the ability to enliven traditional Tuscan and international favorites. It provides a superb companion to fish and all kinds of seafood. Seared sea scallops with a ragout of cannelloni beans and crispy pancetta bacon; grilled trout with almonds and fresh green beans; and freshly shucked oysters broiled with garlic butter, Parmesan cheese and a dash of lime juice all provide excellent accompaniments to the Troianis’ classic Vernaccia di San Gimignano. A white pizza with rock shrimp, fresh ricotta, mozzarella, and arugula offers another fine pairing. Grilled vegetables, hors d’oeuvres, cream based pasta dishes, and hearty salads provide other opportunities to highlight the delicious, organically grown 2021 Fontaleoni Vernaccia di San Gimignano. Buon Appetito!
Wine, food, and the traditional life of Tuscany are alive and well at the Azienda Agricola Fontaleoni. Here the Troiani family makes some of Tuscany’s finest wines, including the region’s most illustrious white wine, Vernaccia di San Gimignano. Just a few kilometers from the storied, medieval towers of San Gimignano and the ancient town of Certaldo, the Troiani family has created a slice of heaven – a pastoral paradise that consists of 95 acres of grape vines and olive trees amidst a dreamland landscape.
From a hillside balcony that opens dramatically onto a panorama of hills, vines, and vast stretches of the magical, undulating land known as Chianti, the Fontaleoni estate slopes gently down from Antico Desco, the family’s traditional restaurant and bed and breakfast. The restaurant, located to one side of the family’s stone house, brings to life the glory of this mystical land by combining the flavors of Tuscan cuisine with the sincerity, authenticity, and warmth of the Troiani family. And of course, the food and the atmosphere are both served with Fontaleoni’s excellent wines, which flow from the vines that grow just outside the terrace of the restaurant and the inn’s three beautifully appointed guest rooms. Here one can enjoy superb Tuscan food and wine amidst the tranquility of a fecund, starkly beautiful countryside, a land deftly sculptured by nature and the hand of man. To drink the cool, hauntingly beautiful Vernaccia di San Gimignano of Fontaleoni as the deep, haunting tones of light begin to spread across the nearby trees and vines recalls Michelangelo’s moving scenes of creation on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. As Vernaccia di San Gimignano was a favorite of the De Medici family (Michelangelo’s patron) and, as some have claimed, of the artist himself, one has to wonder if Tuscany’s favorite son ever sojourned in these very hills. If so, it would explain the impetus for Michelangelo’s most famous work.
Fontaleoni produces five wines or “pearls” as the estate’s aficionados are fond of saying. Tuscany’s finest dry white wine, Vernaccia di San Gimignano, is Fontaleoni’s greatest claim to fame. Fontaleoni produces two estate bottled Vernaccia wines; both warrant DOCG status as Vernaccia di San Gimignano. The brightest and most traditional of these is this month’s feature. Other Fontaleoni wines include Vigna Casanova, an internationally-styled white wine that combines 10% Chardonnay with the estate’s Vernaccia. Two delicious DOCG Chianti wines are also fashioned here from the indigenous Sangiovese grapes.
At Fontaleoni one can enjoy the full realm of beauty that the ancient land of the Etruscans has to offer. Here there is abundance as well as solitude, and even more than a little magic. What else could one ask for?
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