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2014 Tenuta di Fiorano Fioranello

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Latest Sale Price

April 28, 2024 - $17

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PRODUCER

Tenuta di Fiorano

Tenuta di Fiorano is a fabled, small estate just outside Rome’s city limits. Located on the historic Appian Way, the Fiorano estate was the home of Alberico Boncompagni Ludovisi Principe di Venosa. The prince named his wine label after himself, and why not? He descended from an aristocratic family with a 1,000-year lineage that includes two popes. When he inherited the small Fiorano estate in 1946 it was a working farm with a few acres of vineyards. Alberico immediately pulled out the indigenous grapes and planted red and white Bordeaux grapes. He also prohibited the use of any chemicals. Due apparently to his very limited production and his reclusive personality, the prince didn’t seem to care much if he sold his wines. For decades the wines were known and admired primarily by a few cognoscenti in Rome. In 1995 Prince Alberico inexplicably tore out his vineyards and stopped making wine, and in 2000 he sold his cellar to an Italian restaurateur who carefully doled out the wines to a few international distributors. The prince died in 2005. Yet the Fiorano wines of the mid-1960s through 1995 are legendary. Long before Super Tuscans became popular, Prince Alberico was making Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot blends, which critics have compared favorably to Sassicaia. The estate was even more famous for its age-worthy whites made of Malvasia and Semillon. Parts of the Fiorano property passed on to Alberico’s granddaughter, Alessia Antinori of the Antinori winemaking family, and other acreage was inherited by a cousin, Alessandrojacopo Boncompagni Ludovisi. Confusingly, both cousins use Fiorano in the name of their estates. Tenuta di Fiorano is owned and operated by Alessandrojacopo Boncompagni Ludovisi. Fattoria de Fiorano is owned and operated by the Antinoris.

REGION

Italy, Lazio

Lazio is the region in which Rome is located, though for many reasons, Lazio is often overlooked in discussions about Italian wines. That’s because historically, Lazio, the seventh largest wine producing region in Italy, was notable mostly for making very large quantities of unremarkable white wines poured nearly round the clock in Rome’s cafes. Lazio white was cheap and easy to drink, and generally made from Malvasia or Trebbiano grapes. There still are plenty of mediocre whites, and a few reds, produced from Lazio’s 120,000 acres of vineyards. But in the last decade some Lazio producers have refocused their businesses on making quality wines that reflect Lazio terroir and tradition. Lazio has 25 DOCs, and about 80 percent of the wine produced is white. Many grapes are allowed, depending on the DOC, and the traditional red grape here is Cesanese, which can make deep, fruity reds, although the popularity of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and other French grapes has resulted in fewer Cesanese vineyards. The white grape Grechetto is enjoying a revival, however. In the 2016 Gambero Rosso Italian Wine Guide, the authors wrote that in Lazio in the last few years, “small and large wineries, new and venerable names, have all come up with some truly appealing proposals that are stirring attention at national and international levels.” For the first time in the history of its annual wine guides, Gambero Rosso awarded 3 glass awards – the highest rating -- to Lazio wines in 2015 and 2016.