The great Burgundy broker Becky Wasserman once told me that you can see the character of the winemaker in the wine. The Istine Chianti Classico made by Angela Fronti is a great example of this truth; my first impression of Angela at Vinitaly was smiling, lively, even exuberant, but as I've come to know her better her intelligence and her deep understanding of her appellation have become clear. Likewise, her wine initially shows the bright red fruit that is the charm of Chianti Classico and then one tastes the structure and substance of the wine, surprisingly deep for a 'normale,' and very well-made. This is a new estate, consisting of a group of high-altitude small vineyards around the town of Radda and a 'winery' that reminds me of the Wine Ghetto in Lompoc, a corner of a light industrial space with a few large barrels in it and a basket press. Her family is in vineyard construction and management, and her brother told me that one of the vineyards was so rocky and hard to establish that they would have bailed on any other customer. I'm glad he didn't, these wines are excellent.

ALC 13.5$ 


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