The showcase of Fontodi's cellar is a very large, lofty room with cathedral ceilings, warm wood, a tile floor, and a giant skylight. In its center grows a towering tree whose branches reach toward the ceiling. I'm not sure what kind of tree it is, but I do know that it's old. Its trunk must be about two feet in diameter. It's huge, beautiful, and the very picture of the kind of tree a kid would draw. It would have been easier--and a lot less expensive--for Sergio Manetti, the owner of Fontodi, to cut down that beautiful tree and to rip up its roots. He didn't because that tree isn't just the room's focal point; it's also a powerful visual metaphor. This tree symbolizes how Fontodi has always made its wine in accordance with nature and why it will constantly renew that commitment in the future.
Fontodi is certified organic, but more than that, the estate is committed to working with the earth, to creating wine that speaks of the earth where its grapes grew, and to giving homage to the heritage that created the wine. Today, I'm very pleased to bring back a gorgeous bottle from Fontodi, the estate's 2011 Flaccianello. It's a beautiful Sangiovese wine that speaks to the long roots of this Tuscan grape, its Conca d'Ora vineyards, and the estate that made it. If you really love fine, well-made, full-throttle Sangiovese, you owe it to yourself to experience the 2011 Flaccianello.
Along with this Fontodi bottle, I'm please to present the fairytale Solaria Jonica from Antonio Ferrari. This wine is out of the world-it's like drinking a shower of comets. Finally, there's one beautiful, affordable Santenay bottle from Bachey-Legros; a bottle of $35 wine isn't supposed to be this good. Trust the roots, reach for those stars, and open a bottle of one of these wines. It'll bring you a touch closer to the primeval, even as you toast to tomorrow.