From the cellar diary

The destalking together with the careful selection of the grapes concludes one of the most important phases of our work. Having selected manually the grapes we filled seven of our ‘ barriques' or small barrels without the use of pumps or in order to limit completely the stressing of the fruit pulp and the skin.

We then awaited the beginning of the fermentation process which began after two days and continued for a further three weeks. During this phase any interference on our part is kept to a minimum: only intervening to stir the grapes daily, rigorously by hand, to homogenise the must.

On the completion of the primary fermentation and following a further week of maceration with the skins of the grapes we separated the grape residue from the fermented juice using the force of gravity, again without the use of pumps or mechanical presses, obtaining three barriques. Now we must observe closely the wine awaiting the onset of the malolactic fermentation process which results in a natural de- acidification and softening of the wine's aroma, flavour and texture.

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From the harvest diary

5th - 6th September 2017

The telling of the story of the harvest of Fico is like trying to describe a painting so full of colour we are not sure where to start. However, lets begin with the sky, transparent with fleeting thin wispy strands of cloud accompanied by a light breeze and a still warm sun.

The grapes managed to reach maturity during a summer which tested not just us but all fauna and flora thanks to the lack of rain and the extremely high temperatures. These grapes we know well: we have watched them form, grow and become that what we see today, which, seems to us a beautiful thing.

The grape harvest signifies the selection of only the best grapes, discarding all the fruit not considered suitable to find its way to the cellars: some grapes did not reach maturity, some became withered on the vine.

Highly specialised, this work constitutes the link with all that precedes it in the vineyard, that is, a careful management of the land such as; the aim to draw moisture to the surface of the earth during the period of the rigid drought, the cultivation and control of the protective canopy of the small branches and leaves on the area of the vine facing the strongest sun and the weaving of elevated waves above the vines with the buds and new leaves in order to eliminate the trauma of the pruning and cutting of the vine.

We are in many for the harvest: there are the professionals, those whose primary occupation is in the vineyard, flanked by the many friends of Elena and Filippo, young hands all instructed on how to assure the quality of the fruit to be selected. To the many colours we can now add the many voices of those working, sharing and telling stories but never losing sight of the objective.

Everyone is dressed in the same white T-shirt bearing the name and the logo of FICO and thanks to this we can see at a distance a concentration of candid white clothed figures moving throughout the vines, selecting, cutting and carefully laying the bunches of grapes in their boxes ready for the cellars. The boxes then are quickly collected and brought to the cellars where the selection process begins for the transformation of the fruit into must.

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Getting ready for the harvest

Tomorrow, the 5th of September, a ‘flower day’, in accordance with the bio-dynamic calendar we will begin the harvest and we cannot deny a certain emotion in bringing home the fruits of our labour.

This vintage will be remembered for the lack of rainfall; for the unnatural cold snap in mid April that caused much frost damage in certain areas of the vineyard; for the incessant heat, that challenged also our resistance. We have worked and tended this earth with the utmost respect, seeking to listen and to adapt to the needs of the moment through timely management of the soil and the eco-system of the vine, without ever forcing our hand; the light leaf cover has allowed the grapes a shield against the searing sun created by the weaving of the sprouting stems and foliage, thus respecting the natural balance of the vine and avoiding further trauma to the grapes considering the very high temperatures.

We have constantly tasted the grapes throughout and we are now sure that the characteristics in the fruit that distinguish Fico have arrived. For this reason we are getting ready for the harvest, the ‘ vendemmia', a further adventure in the transformation and the evolution of our beloved grapes.

p.s. since January 250 mm of rain was recorded here at Le Corti. In a full year, from our records, the rainfall usually averages 850 mm.

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Our soil

To maximize the potential of our ‘terroir', we devote all possible care to the management of the soil. We choose when to turn and work the ground or when to keep intact the grassy surface growth on the basis of what we wish to achieve, objectives we have set ourselves to ensure standards of the highest quality. To evaluate the result of our work, we always use qualitative methods: with the spade and our sense of touch or with our noses and our sense of smell.

Our soil is soft to the touch and sweetly scented, rich in organic matter that has accumulated thanks to the use of green manure and this makes us very proud!

 

It's summertime!

In the air the scents of the hot season are all around. The vines appear as rich concentrations of vibrant green amidst the yellowed grasses and the colours of the seasonal summer flowers.

The bunches of grapes are already formed: hanging heavy from the trellises reminding us that the harvest is not so far away, although the path is a long one and there is still much to do…

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Robert Parker rates FICO

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We are happy to announce Robert Parker and the Wine Advocate, in its coverage of ”Italy: The Tuscan Ten” featured Fico Wine 2015 and awarded the wine a rating of RP 92+

This award is a significant achievement for the creator of Fico, Filippo Corsini, of whom we are all very proud and this award is a testament to his vision and his determination, his love for the natural world and his intuition regarding what could be achieved.

We, through this further accolade, are even more determined to continue on the path that Filippo forged, to continue his interpretation, his own personal vision of winemaking, to continue a holistic bio-dynamic approach to the making of wine, to continue his contemporary interpretation of tradition. Filippo continues to leave his mark.

“The 2015 Fico is a delicate and pure expression of Sangiovese made according to careful organic and biodynamic principles. The wine bears a striking resemblance to Burgundian Pinot Noir both in approach and quality. It opens to a pale garnet color with bright ruby highlights. The bouquet starts slowly to reveal wild berry, blue violet and blanched almond. In the mouth, the wine presents energetic verve and beautifully balanced freshness. This wine will stand out to those looking for beautifully ethereal Sangiovese. Monica Larner”
 

Green Manure

The rows in the vineyard where we planted the seeds in the green manure have become a lush abundant weave of many different flowers and plants: sweet peas alternate with mustard, fava beans, phacelia, vetch, barley and oats.

Looking out over the vineyard the eye is drawn to the colours of the blooms along the rows of vines, colours which cling to the bright sharp green undergrowth made even more intense by the recent rains.

Now the time has arrived to restore to the soil the organic material grown up over the winter and the start of spring: buried below ground within a few hours of being finely cut and chopped.

This is the fertilisation we adopt in our vineyard, 100% sustainable.

What Tom Maresca thinks about Fico

Last March Duccio Corsini, owner of Le Corti Estate, organized an important dinner with wine tasting at Babbo restaurant in New York.  These are the impressions on FICO that the wine journalist Tom Maresca reported on his blog Tom's wine line:

 “... we were offered a very special wine called Fico, which Corsini believes represents the shape of the future for the Le Corti estate and perhaps for all of Tuscan wine. This project was initiated by his son, who died last fall in a tragic accident. The wine is 100% organically grown and organically vinified Sangiovese. We tasted the 2015 pilot vintage, of which only 280 bottles were made, so this was a rare privilege. Even beyond its rarity, it was one of the most striking Tuscan wines I have ever tasted. Every one of us journalists had the same reaction to our first sip: Pinot noir! Excellent Pinot noir!  And yet it was all unmanipulated Sangiovese. That was the front and middle of the mouth. The back of the mouth and the finish were pure Sangiovese, but that opening taste – and this persisted as we drank our way through the bottle – showed us all a dimension of Sangiovese that we had not known existed.
I’m sorry to get so geeky about where-on-my-palate-I-tasted-what, but something like this doesn’t happen every day, and I found it pretty exciting. It is going to be very interesting indeed to see where Principe Corsini goes with this."