Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Bottle check: Fattoria San Lorenzo "Il San Lorenzo" Rosso

The 1997 Il San Lorenzo Bianco, made of Vermentino by Fattoria San Lorenzo, was the single most impressive white wine I have ever drunk from the Marche, and a wine that I still think about often, years later. So when I saw that there was an Il San Lorenzo Rosso available at the Indie Wineries tasting, I made a B line for it. Fattoria San Lorenzo is a fairly new project, having begun in 1995, and given the short history they make quite the spread of wines, both red and white. But I was unaware that there had been an Il San Lorenzo red produced, until I saw it at the tasting. In hindsight this is perhaps not much of a surprise, as the wine is not even listed on the producer website. I know that the 1997 Il San Lorenzo Bianco was made in scant quantities (although you might have drunk some at Convivio, I mention wistfully). I assume that the 2001 Rosso was also a limited release. I also know that Fattoria San Lorenzo has Sangiovese, Montepulciano, and Lacrima planted for their various reds, although I do not know the makeup of the Il San Lorenzo Rosso bottling. My guess would be Sangiovese primarily with Montepulciano, and this all matters because you should not hesitate to turn over every stone until you find this wine, which is truly excellent and I'll go so far as to call astounding. Really and truly good, good enough to entirely melt the too cold heart of anyone who still dares to repeat the "Sangiovese is not a noble grape" canard.

I tried this wine during the middle of the big Burgundy festival and for me it was the equal of anything I tried that day. I'm truly shocked that this amazing wine could sit quietly in a corner, ignored by an intelligent city. You'd think the very walls of the room would have been torn asunder. I'm serious. Get out and taste around if you think Sangiovese can't conjure miracles. And think outside the Tuscan box if you are tired of being contained by it. After all, it was Saint Lawrence (San Lorenzo) who was credited with finding the Holy Grail, and he was not Tuscan.


Ernest Ifkovitz said...

Good to see some love for those comforting FSL Verdicchio bottles. He's the only one I know who has various years of Verdicchio hanging out in tank around his cellar. What a gleeful cellar visit!

Summer Wolff said...

Natalino poured us a tank sample of the red Il San Lorenzo this fall when we were at his house - none of us (including his closest friends) knew he was making it, and in fact I thought he was kidding when I asked what it was... Turns out he found this vine growing up a tree in the woods near one of his vineyards - he brought it to the lab and they can't identify it, it's some ancient variety. The closest thing they can relate it to is Syrah, but the bunches don't at all resemble syrah ... he decided to graft onto Syrah rootstock, and voilĂ ! We'll be getting some into NY in a few weeks... he only made about 100 cases in total. NY will see about a third of that...
Enjoy :)

Anonymous said...

Currently adding this wine to BinWise for the restaurant, this is the first time I've been able to use "N.A." for the varietal!
Very exciting.