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Value Alert: 2007 Felsina Fontalloro

Saturday, May 14, 2011

We got together with friends last night for one of my favorite traditions: Friday night pizza night with really nice wine. While some see pizza-pairing as suited for simple wines, I see it as an opportunity for a low-fuss meal at the end of the work week and a chance to let the wines shine. This week we ordered from Old School Pizza in Wellesley (review).

A while back, a friend introduced me to the 2006 Felsina Fontalloro. I was really impressed with the wine's versatile personality. It's elegant and plays well in a sit down situation, but it's got this incredible fruit-driven nose that's so friendly and appealing. It's hard not to like.

After tasting the 2006 I added it to my shopping list but never saw it come up at a price I couldn't refuse. Fortunately (especially lately it seems) there's always another great vintage right around the corner: The 2007 is even better.

The 2007 is young at this point, but like all great wines it's still enjoyable even if it hasn't fully come together. It's as if the wine is deconstructed into individual components and it's easier to understand now than it will be in a few years. Like watching a golfer's swing in slow motion.

The initial aromas are beautiful sweet fruit. I love the mouthfeel of this wine - it's rich and satisfying but not heavy. Acidity reveals itself on the sides of the tongue. Earthy/leathery flavors. Beautiful finish. So well put together.

It's readily available for around $45 at retail and for as much as I've bashed Italy as being a tough category for value, this wine makes me rethink that sentiment. There are gads of wines in Napa Valley that have no problems declaring themselves value plays north of $50.

I highly recommend this wine and would love to find more wines like it. Let me know in the comments if you have some similar value plays you'd like to share.

2007 Felsina Fontalloro
14% alcohol
3,335 cases produced
$55 release price

A beautifully put together wine that makes me think twice before paying $50+ for domestic wine. Such fresh vibrant fruit on the nose combined with ample acidity, earth and overall balance and deliciousness - this is really a tremendous achievement for a little over $40. Extremely highly recommended.

94/100 WWP: Outstanding

96 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
93 points Wine Advocate
92 points Wine Spectator

Where to buy:
Wine.com
Search for it on wine-searcher.com
Other opinions on CellarTracker

Question of the Day: Have you had this wine or prior vintages? What are some other value plays in this category you'd recommend?

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