375ml (Half Bottles)
3000ml (Double Magnums)
Brunello di Montalcino
Languedoc & Rousillon
Agricola San Felice
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Porta del Vento
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Fiorano No. 47 Semillon 1994 750ml
Special Price: $
This ‘94 Fiorano shows a golden yellow hue and offers a nose full of melon and honey tones followed by caramel mixed with apricots and kumquat. Airing the glass gives you baked green apples and slight tropical notes. The soft, creamy palate shimmers with a slight tangy acidic minerality and lingering sherry-like notes of almonds on a nice, soft, long, mineral-inflected finish. Compelling flavors and a bouquet that is endlessly intriguing make these vintage Sémillons true treats for the serious aficionado, and this organically grown wine will likely remind connoisseurs of drinking aged Bordeaux Blanc. The product of dedication and passion from Principe Alberico Boncompagni Ludovisi and his Fiorano estate, whose avant-garde approach of organic agriculture and the use of a magical mold was way ahead of its time, this wine shows a rare ability to age.
Country : Italy
Subregion/Appellation: Lazio IGT
Fiorano is the wine estate of Alberico Boncompagni Ludovisi, the prince of Venosa. The estate is located in the region of Latium of Lazio. To say you have sampled the wines of the Fiorano estate would put you in the elite few. The rare and highly regarded wines come from the international varietals of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot for the Rosso and Malvasia di Candia for the Bianco, and lastly a white wine made from the Semillon grape. The wines are the product of a dedicated and passionate prince whose avant garde approach was way ahead of its time. His whites took on a phenomenon for their ability to age, but became a true rarity as the prince was elusive and did not care to put the wines in the wrong hands. The story of the prince and his forgotten bottles is truly a gift to be shared and was captured by The New York Times through their chief wine critic, Eric Asimov in the December 22, 2004 edition of The New York Times. Read the actual article below and then be sure to read about the mythical 1959 Antonio Ferrari Solaria Jonica.
Rome. In a secluded back room of a hotel not far from the Trevi Fountain, a dozen glasses of Italian white wine sat before each of a small group of tasters. All were used to this sort of thing and, really, how exciting are most Italian white wines? Six were made from malvasia di Candia, ordinarily a workmanlike grape not known for producing great table wines, yet these were astonishing.
The oldest, a 1978, was dry and fresh, with aromas of flowers, honey and minerals. The flavors seemed to linger in the mouth forever. The wine in the other glasses was sémillon, the backbone of great white Bordeaux but practically nonexistent in Italy. Yet these wines were even more astounding than the malvasias. The oldest, a 1971, had the lively mineral flavor of a fine Puligny-Montrachet.
The older the wines got, the younger they tasted. They seemed almost magical, and indeed the story of these wines has a fairy tale quality to it.
Once upon a time there was a prince. By most accounts he was not so much charming as eccentric. His name was Alberico Boncompagni Ludovisi, prince of Venosa, and his family, which can be traced back at least 1,000 years, includes two popes.
The prince lived on an estate, Fiorano, on the outskirts of Rome near the Via Appia Antica, the ancient Appian Way. There he grew wheat, raised dairy cows and made three wines, one red and two whites, from a small vineyard. The vineyard had been planted with the local grapes that make the sort of nondescript wines typical of Latium, the region centered on Rome.
But in 1946, when the prince inherited Fiorano, he replanted the vineyard with cabernet sauvignon and merlot, long before these Bordeaux grapes became familiar in Italy, and malvasia and sémillon. The prince practiced organic agriculture in an era when others embraced chemical sprays. He kept his yields ridiculously low, resulting in minute quantities of intense, concentrated wines, and he did not filter them. He aged the wine in large numbered barrels, which he reused year after year. A fine white mold grew naturally in his cellar, covering the barrels and the bottles that he stored in neat stacks. The prince did nothing to remove it; he believed it was beneficial.
Few people knew of the wines, but their reputation was excellent.
" The greatness of Fiorano is a secret shared by a few," wrote Burton Anderson in "Vino," his 1980 guide to Italian wine.
The red made the most profound impression. Italian white wines were thought to be inconsequential, and few paid attention to the prince's whites, though Mr. Anderson called the sémillon "the most refined wine of its type and a rarity in Italy."
One who was in on the Fiorano secret was Luigi Veronelli, a leading Italian wine writer who regularly rhapsodized about the wines.
Breakdown of Varieties: Sémillon
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