Istine Chianti Classico Vigna Casanova dell’Aia 2018
100% Sangiovese. For decades the Fronti family has specialized in vineyard development and management for famous Tuscan wineries. The family also owned small vineyard plots in the Chianti Classico area, mostly in Radda with some in Gaiole. Some bulk wine was produced, but it wasn’t until Angela Fronti graduated from Enology school and convinced her father and uncle that they needed their own label that Istine was born. Their first wine was the 2009 Chianti Classico, of which less than 250 cases were made with fruit from the eponymous Istine vineyard. Always working naturally, Istine has been certified organic since 2016. The wines are aged the old-fashioned way, in large 20hl botti of neutral oak, after a prolonged skin maceration that can last as long as six weeks. Production is small - only about 60-70,000 bottles and the family does not envision expanding much. Their 26 hectares of galestro and alberese are some of the highest-elevation vineyards around: some 400-600 meters above sea level, which exactly suits their pure, linear aesthetic. The vineyards themselves are fragmented, in different zones with distinct characteristics. From the 2012 vintage, Angela began a project of separate vinification of Sangiovese depending on the vineyard of origin. Now, in addition to the Istine Chianti Classico, they make three different 'crus' of Chianti Classico coming from three distinct vineyard sites. The Casanova dell’Aia vineyard is close to the village of Radda itself and was planted entirely to Sangiovese in 2002. The wines have a bright mid-red color, and mouthwatering, inviting aromas of sour-cherry, marzipan, and thyme. Superb palate impression, complex, delicious, and very long. Just an outstanding wine, but this is no surprise as Angela is one of the most promising young talents in Italy. We will watch her career eagerly.