Fanti Poggio Torto

Tenuta Fanti Poggio Torto Rosso 2019

Price: $25.99
Channel: Le Sommelier

Producer: Tenuta Fanti
Country: Italy
Region: Tuscany (Montalcino)
Appellation: Toscana IGT

Grapes: Sangiovese, Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon
Alcohol by Volume: 14.5%
Sugar Content: Less than 1 gram per litre

With roots in Montalcino since the 19th century, the Fanti family has very much been part of the meteorotic rise of Brunello di Montalcino DOCG since the 1970s. And while their Brunello is superb, it’s pricey, so it’s nice that the Fanti’s still make a Toscana IGT, or plain old table wine. Except it’s not plain at all…

Like nearly everywhere else in Italy, in the 1980s and 90s a lot of ‘international’ grape vines were planted by what were then forward looking winemakers. (International is what French grapes are called when they’re planted in Europe outside of France.) Fashion changed and by the second decade of this century indigenous grapes were in and the ‘imports’ were out. This would have been acutely the case in Montalcino where their famous wine is literally named after the the ‘big brown’ strain of Sangiovese only found in the hills around the town, Brunello.

The thing is, all those vines of Merlot, Cabernet and Syrah that survived are now around 30 to 40 years old and so qualify as prized ‘old vines’. What’s more, the Italians who grow them have had that many decades to figure them out in the cellar and in the field, uprooting the vines from sites that didn’t work and keeping the ones from the ones that did. Even better, they discovered that those French grapes blended very well with Sangiovese, a bit like Francis II and Catherine de Medici. The great, and delicious, bargains in Italian wines are often these blends, like Fanti’s Poggio Torto.

The 2019 Poggio Torto is certified organic and is a recognizably Mediterranean wine, with dark cherry and earthy tones from the Sangiovese, forest fruit from the Merlot and black fruit from the Cabernet and Syrah, all seasoned slightly with a touch of scrub macchia. The tannins are fine and the acid good and ready for the table. Give this wine red meat or mushrooms from the grill (or both!) and it will return the favour generously.