Robert Parker's Wine Advocate 98
This retrospective gave me the opportunity to taste the excellent 2015 vintage side by side with the highly anticipated 2016 vintage. These two years are famously in a tight race across Tuscany for supremacy. I'm ready to tip my hat at 2016. In comparison, the 2015 Flaccianello della Pieve is slightly broader in the shoulders and heavier in the gait. There is more meat on these bones, and the 2015 vintage presented vintners with near-perfect growing conditions in which one textbook part of the vegetative cycle transitioned directly to the next. The wine is dark, exuberant and profound, and the quality of the tannins is superb, fine and firm. One difference with the 2016 vintage is that the 2015 is a tad more accessible and ready. You can wait and cellar it for thirty years, or pop the cork sooner if you don't have the patience to wait.
James Suckling 97
The aromas are crystal-clear here, ranging from dark cherry essence, dried herbs and dark plums to licorice, cloves, vanilla and paprika. Full body, very velvety yet firm tannins and a long, grippy finish. The tension created with the interplay between the rich fruit, taut acidity and a sturdy tannin backbone is so enticing. Drink in 2022. Made from organically grown grapes.
Wine Spectator 96
Rich and opulent, with a sheen to the black currant and blackberry fruit flavors. Additional notes of thyme, leather, mineral and tar add depth, while the burly tannins still ride roughshod on the finish. Nonetheless, all the components are there and this shows fine length. A more muscular style for this wine, reflecting the vintage.
2015 was a relief after 2014. Manetti describes it as an almost perfect vintage: the summer was warmer than usual with lots of sunshine, but it was never too hot and rain fell at the right moments. It's surprisingly open on the nose, where sweet earth, dark cherry, grilled thyme and baking spice aromas unfold. The palate is full and voluptuous, with succulent fruits coated by firm tannins. This just needs time to take shape and it will reveal its more subtle complexities after a few years in the cellar.