The birth of Concerto in 1981, which changed the history of Castello di Fonterutoli, was due to a felicitous tasting by Marchesa Carla Mazzei in which the wine exhibited such incredible equilibrium and harmony of its components that she bestowed on it its present title. The “instruments” that composed this musical piece, Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon, were heard for the very first time together; here at Castellina in Chianti, on the estate of the Marchesi Mazzei, this duet found their ideal “acoustics” to express and combine together their noble individual qualities.
Historically speaking, Concerto is one of the very first ten wines that launched the Super Tuscan revolution, one of the phenomena of a decade that signalled an epochal change for Tuscan winegrowing. “It really was a true revolution,” remember Francesco and Filippo Mazzei. “And the paradox is that we had to officially designate those wines as Vini da Tavola (Table Wines). Concerto was one of the leading labels, with its instantly recognisable personality.”
The Concerto vineyard, lying at an elevation of about 350 metres and facing southwest, is totally surrounded by woodland, which gives it a particularly cool microclimate. The vineyard is comprised of four adjoining parcels, three of which, with very rocky, limestone-derived soils, are planted to Sangiovese cloned from massal selections from a 1930s-era experimental vineyard. The fourth shows a higher clay component in the limestone rock, ideal for Cabernet Sauvignon.
A cold winter marked the 2021 growing season, with very little rainfall. A cool, rather rainy spring followed, then a summer that was hot and long, but with good day-night temperature variations. All these conditions combined to gift a very positive harvest, qualitatively speaking. Both grape varieties were harvested by hand and then fermented separately. The individual lots matured 18 months, Sangiovese in large tonneaux and the Cabernet in standard oak barrels. The assembled blend underwent its finissage in traditional concrete vats.
Today, Fonterutoli’s Concerto remains, of course, a Tuscan classic of the “‘80s winemaking”, but it is at the same time absolutely contemporary. For the Mazzei family, “it remains a ‘concept wine,’ always a fount of emotions as well as of continuous inspiration. Its 40th anniversary gives us the opportunity of underscoring its importance to us with a special celebratory label.”
This 2021 vintage, available in October 2023, is ready to delight with immediate surprises as well as to confront the years with a musical score that remains as contemporary as the vintages that preceded it.