Fattoria Aiola has a rich and tumultuous history. Documented as early as the year 1397, Aiola is first mentioned as a fortress or palace of Countess Layola. In the context of supplying gunpowder and weapons, the fortress stood as a sentinel guarding Florence from the Sienese Republic.
Throughout the subsequent centuries, ownership of what had become a country manor house passed several times from family to family. In 1937, the Malagodi family took control of the estate and owned the property for almost 8 decades. Finally, in 2012, a group of Russian entrepreneurs purchased and revitalized the property.
Fattoria Aiola’s vineyards are strewn with rocks and comprised of albarese and galestro soil. The galestro asserts itself noticeably in Fattoria Aiola’s wines by contributing distinct traces of minerality. This adds wonderful complexity to the estate’s wines. I first wrote about Aiola’s Gran Selezione which is an excellent value for the type. Today, we’re focusing on their “workhorse” red; Chianti Classico.
The 2016 Fattoria Aiola Chianti Classico is a wonderful value and another example of vintage’s excellence. This 2016 is a stylish blend of 90% Sangiovese while the remainder is 10% Merlot and Colorino. The wine is aged for one year in a combination of large oak barrels and stainless steel tanks. The result is a bright, fresh wine that is vibrant and juicy.
Deep ruby to violet in the glass, the 2016 is replete with crushed cherry aromas, fresh violets and sweet pipe tobacco. Sapid, mouthwatering flavors of tobacco and maraschino cherry are juicy and laced with trace minerality. Smooth and polished, the inclusion of the Merlot is noticeable from a tactile standpoint. I would never call this “internationally styled” but it doesn’t smack of rusticity either. Regardless, nothing here disappoints and it’s a wonderful value under $18. 88 points. Find this wine.