Tasted next to the 2012 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Vigna del Sorbo, the Flaccianello is richer, deeper and more flamboyant. Super-ripe red stone fruit, smoke, licorice and dark spices meld together in a deep, powerful wine. The 2012 is impressive, but personally I prefer the finesse and freshness of the Sorbo. The greater influence of new French oak is also felt in the wine's texture. Still, that is splitting hairs, as the level here is high. Very high.
There is little doubt Giovanni Manetti is at the top of his game. After tasting these wines from bottle along with multiple barrel samples, my impression is that Manetti continues to make small but important changes that are moving his wines towards a style that emphasizes finesse over sheer power. Of course, 2013 and 2014 both yielded generally delicate wines, so some of that may be attributable to vintage characteristics. It is too soon to tell for sure. The Sangioveses still see about two years in oak, which is on the longer side, but the gradual introduction of casks in the cellar appears to be playing a significant role in giving the wines added polish and elegance. This year, Fontodi fans will notice the addition of a new wine, the Chianti Classico Filetta di Lamole, which Giovanni Manetti is making and marketing on behalf of relatives who own vineyards in Lamole, one of the few areas in Chianti Classico that have always been planted to vines as opposed to mixed crops, as was the custom in most of Tuscany up until fairly recently. Manetti adds that he plans to release all of his top labels in 2014, although production will be down sharply."