Ugo Bing and Fattoria di Fiano Winery, this article is just an overture because I haven’t been there yet, but I’ve been travelling there many times in my mind. That’s what we’ve all learned to do during lockdown, to travel with our imagination and meet friends and loved ones in our dreams, because there was no other way… and sometimes that’s all we have left.

There is a place in my memory where I go often, and my first Ugo Bing Chianti Colli Fiorentini DOCG Riserva 2008 is there. A surprising wine, as rarely happens in life, intense and overwhelming that leaves you stunned, confused and happy. One of those wines that I love to call Children of a lesser god, to underline their uniqueness and greatness even if they never get to be in a well deserved spotlight.

Children of a lesser god: those who have to come to terms every day with having less than they deserve. Those who have a great gift and do not realize it. Those who are special and feel “different” instead, afraid to explain their inner self because they know that the world would not understand. Sometimes however destiny gets in the way and you do cross path with someone as “different” as you. Just one look and you know he gets you, and that you do not have to explain yourself.

“And I don’t want the world to see me ‘cause I don’t think that they’d understand, when everything is made to be broken, I just want you to know who I am” as the song Iris of Goo Goo Dolls puts it, the song of my soul.

Now I’m not sure I know how it happened, but we did find one another somehow, the Chianti of Ugo Bing and I. The sweetness of time that is able to wait for the here and now. An unexpected gift, a stolen kiss, shivers down my spine, a warm and sensual embrace, the never-ending caresses, the crescendo of pleasure that takes your breath away. An explosion of light in the glass, the colors of the rainbow. Glorious!

Getting lost in this wine of such innate stature is a moment, one that will be part of me forever, even now that the bottle is empty. And that’s how I never let it pass me by, every time I get a chance. I had the pleasure and the honor of meeting Francesco Bing and to taste with him several other vintages of this enchanting wine; unforgettable vintage 2005 “… now that it has opened in all its splendor it gives leaps of extreme pleasure. Moments of absolute excellence. It seems even younger than 2008”.

During lockdown, Francesco sent me some oenological cuddles with the 2006, 2009 and 2015 Reserves and more. I was very tempted, but I did not open any of those bottles in solitude, because such masterpieces must be kept for special occasions and necessarily shared with those who love wine as much as I do. And what better occasion than the first post-lockdown barbecue with my best friends? We need time to talk with this noble bottle and today here, in the hot sun but still not so hot to burn you, and with all this beautiful meat to tackle, we do have enough time.

My choice is Riserva 2006, 14 years locked in its world of glass, contrasting emotions that alternate and intertwine as fluid and intense as this wine that is finally free to flow and fills my glass with deep ruby red. I have waited for you for 14 years, more or less unconsciously, and now that you are here I am seized by that strange fear that arises from the awareness that it will be just one rare, intense and unrepeatable moment that unfortunately will have to come to an end.

Time freezes or perhaps expands to infinity, it doesn’t matter, it does not make any difference. We are here in front of each other, staring into each other’s eyes, holding the gaze in search of that deep connection that will help us reveal and understand one another.

Can I enter your world?

Can I trust you?

Can I share all my secrets with you?

Can I show you my soul with no fear?

Will you follow my evolutions and be able to go beyond every stage?

Will you have the time and the will to discover my story?

And when you find out everything about me, even my faults, will you still love me?

Because the tasting of a great wine is like a metaphor of life and friendship that requires concentration and the ability to wait, the desire of joyful discoveries, and the will to let feelings and emotions get down to the core of your heart and soul. The conversation with this Chianti was deep and intense indeed, because there was the whole world in this glass for those who waited. Closed and shy at first, it opened up slowly to the point it exploded into a blaze of countless, overwhelming and unforgettable sensations no list can possibly convey. And now that I have learned to love your company and want to keep you here forever the bottle is empty, and you are no longer there…

I have to go, but don’t you ever forget me, kid. Close your eyes and search your heart anytime you want. That’s where you’ll always find me, untouched, immutable, and we can talk and laugh again and again about anything you please, while I enjoy the smile in your eyes that is all for me, and for me only.

“Very noble I find that wine, certainly different from 2008, but with so much to say!” cit. Francesco Bing.

Regal Francesco, I found it regal.

Time always opens every door, the time has come for me to cross the threshold of Fiano’s Farm. Soon, very soon.