Update 10/2/16: 2013 Lagone note added below. The quality of the 2013 provides further evidence of the value in the Lagone.
As I've said before, one of the great joys of wine loving is discovering wines you can enjoy without having to spend a large sum. Aia Vecchia is a great source for exactly that sort of wine.
Elia, who recently took over global marketing for Aia Vecchia after his professional soccer career was ended by injury, told me that one of their most important goals is to make wine with great QPR (quality to price ratio). Having tasted there wines, on multiple occasions, I believe that are meeting that goal.
|Elia Pellegrini of Aia Vecchia|
Aia Vecchia's production is fairly modest, at 250k bottles per year, which allows this family run enterprise to focus on quality. Fifty percent of that production goes to the American market.
Here are my notes on a few examples.
2011 Sor Ugo Bolgheri D.O.C. Superior 15% ABV, $35
Starts off with a beautiful nose of perfumed black cherry flesh and black currant with a rich core and nice complexity. Dark chocolate, tobacco, dried blackberry, and violets all intermingle and provide plenty of nuance. The palate is firm and dark with black cherry skins, and dried herbs with subtle underlying savory notes. The structure is solid, but finessed with nice juicey acidity and a fine coating of tannins. Nicely balanced and satisfying. 30 days maceration and 18 months in French barrique. 91Pts
50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 15% Cab Franc, 5% Petit Verdot
The nose is inviting, with ripe dark fruit, sweet, dusty red cherry aromas, plum, and some black cherry flesh. The fruit is underscored by a persistent cured tobacco scent that is lovely, along with a bit of dried spearmint. The palate is full bodied with black cherry skins, pie spice, savory dried herbs, and a dusty grip. A balanced structure completes the profile with dark supporting acidity, firm, but fine-grained, tannins, and a flinty finish that lingers nicely. 90 Pts.
2012 Aia Vecchia Lagone IGT 14.5% ABV, $15
Named for a small stream the passes through the estate, the Lagone is a wonderful value that straddles the worlds of "modern" and "traditional" wine making. There is solid extraction and ripeness here, but it is balanced and well structured. The nose is rich, and serious in its first impression, with dark plum, blackberry, and pomegranate fruit, brambles, dried floral notes, mint leaves, and faint green pepper. The palate has a soft attack, and is medium-weight, with more dark plum, a little charred sandalwood and nice aromatic action on the back of the palate. The acidity is present in good measure and lends energy to the large profile, while the tannins are fine grained, but sufficiently pronounced to complete the impression of quality. I would not be surprised to see it age gracefully for 5 years, which is saying something for a bottle at this price point. 60% Merlot / 30% Cabernet Sauvignon / 10% Cab Franc