Fattoria La Vialla "Barriccato" Rosso 2015
In the 1970s in Arezzo, this corner of Tuscany was impoverished and still recovering from its "Years of Lead," a period of social turmoil lasting until the late 1980s. Arezzo was filled with dilapidated farmhouses and abandoned farmland. In 1978 Giuliana and Piero Lo Franco bought an abandoned farmhouse and started growing vegetables and grapes at their "Ca' dell'Oro" which would eventually take on the name Fattoria La Vialla. At this time, "organic" was not a discussed or even named practice; nevertheless they farmed the old-school way, eschewing any chemicals or unnatural products.
These practices continue today; Fattoria La Vialla holds the honor of being the largest certified biodynamic farm in all of Europe, an astounding feat of self-sustaining ecology. Biodynamic agriculture involves using natural methods to confront farming challenges that would otherwise call for the use of noxious chemicals. The farm is 360 days a year: from raising sheep, a thriving bee and honey operation, and a bounty of vegetables and olive oil, wine is just one part of their polyculture.
This is their "Barriccato" red, a blend of 90% Sangiovese and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, reminiscent of the finest Brunello or a coastal "Super Tuscan" style blend. Blood orange, roses, cocoa, and suave black cherry go on and on, with a resonant bass note of Cabernet Sauvignon buttressing the long, silky finish. This is a Tuscan red fit for royalty, yet priced like a typical entry-level Chianti.
Considering the history of this estate and the baffling amount of work that goes into every single grape from this estate, a mere $35 is a steal for such a natural, refined, blend of Sangiovese and Cabernet. Take our advice: go long on this red and enjoy it for years to come.