Aia Vecchia Toscana Lagone 19

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Super Tuscans reflect the creative and innovative spirit of the winemakers in Tuscany's Maremma region. Over the last few decades, the winemakers here pushed the boundaries of traditional Tuscan wine production, and today, Super Tuscans are highly sought after by wine enthusiasts and collectors. They're prized for their rich, full-bodied flavors, complex aromas, and exceptional aging potential. Some of the most famous Super Tuscans from the Maremma region include Tignanello, Solaia, and Ornellaia.

These wines are made from a blend of traditional Tuscan grape varieties such as Sangiovese; however, they also include and occasionally only feature non-native Bordeaux varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and Merlot. The use of these non-native grapes was a bold move by winemakers in the Maremma region since it wasn't in line with the strict regulations established by the Italian government.

The first Super Tuscan, Sassicaia, was produced in the 1940s by Marchese Mario Incisa della Rocchetta; however, in the late 1970s and early 1980s, the wine finally achieved worldwide notoriety. Although it was produced in the correct region, Sassicaia could not be classified as a Chianti. Its non-traditional grape blend prohibited the wine from using the Chianti name or logo. The wine's success led to the creation of a new category, vino da tavola, or table wine, allowing winemakers in the Maremma region to experiment with different grape blends and production methods.

The Pellegrini family, owners of Aia Vecchia, has a long history of growing grapes in Maremma, and for generations, they supplied grapes to many of the best wineries in Tuscany. After revamping their business model and replanting their original vineyards in the mid-1990s, they opened their family winery the following year. Their goal was to produce premium, small-production Super Tuscan blends exclusively using Bordeaux grapes.

Lagone, Aia Vecchia's flagship wine, was created in 1998 by Tibor Gal, a renowned winemaker who joined Aia Vecchia from Ornellaia. Each year, Lagone is created from a blend of Bordeaux varietals, and the 2019 is a classic Right Bank blend of 60% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 10% Cabernet Franc.

In your glass, Lagone is a stunning blend of powerful fruit and spice. You're treated to black cherry and plum on the nose, framed by baking spice, hints of leather, and ground coffee. The palate is lush and smooth, with notes of dusty black cherry, black raspberry, cocoa powder, and brown spice leading into pleasingly firm tannins. This beefy but balanced red will pair very nicely with steaks, Osso Bucco, stews, and braises. Drink now through 2030.

91 Vinous
The 2019 Lagone is a soft, fruity Maremma red to drink now and over the next handful of years. A burst of sweet red berry fruit, cinnamon, rose petal and new leather lends energy to this tasty, mid-weight red. Best of all, the 2019 should be a terrific value. - Antonio Galloni



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