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Country of Origin: Italy
Location: Radda, Chianti
People: Angela Fronti, Owner & Winemaker
Viticulture: Practicing Organic
Percorsi di Vino: Istine, il Chianti Classico di Radda
Angela Fronti is a rising star in Chianti. Similar to her wines, she is high energy, effusively charming and intense, but tempered by elegance and humility. She is a huge fan of Elisabetta Fagiouli of Montenidoli, and Elisabetta is a friend and a fan of what Angela is doing. Cream is excited to introduce Istine to the Chicago market. As the first bottles are just finding there way to select restaurants and shops and to real wine lovers, there is a very satisfying feeling that we are all at the start of something very special.
For decades, Angela’s family’s specialization has been in the development and management of vineyards for famous Tuscan wineries. It was only a matter of time before someone in the Fronti family would aspire to produce wine from their estate vineyards. In 2009, Angela produced around 250 cases of Istine Chianti Classico.
Istine consists of a group of high-altitude, small vineyards in the Chianti Classico area, mostly in Radda with some in Gaiole: Istine Vineyard (between Radda and Castellina), Casanova Vineyard (near Radda) and Cavarchione Vineyard (near Gaiole). The high altitude and predominantly rocky soils ensure freshness even in warm vintages. The vineyards consist of indigenous varieties, mainly Sangiovese. Conventionally farmed before 2009, Angela’s first move has been to convert the viticulture to organic methods. This parallels her non-interventionist style in the cellar.
Radda in Chianti is a lovely medieval village surrounded by massive walls. Situated on a hill between the valleys of the Arbia River and Pesa River, it has ancient origins. In the close countryside of Radda there are many Etruscan settlements, and many place names still carry the echo of this origin. The origin of Istine seems to be "ischio," the Italian word derived from the Latin "aesculus." Ischio was used to name a special type of oak tree (Quercus peduncolata) and also a small, yet heavily branched, olive tree (Ligustrum vulgare). The name ischio became istio and then istine to convey its Etruscan location. Since the vineyard is completely surrounded by woods, it is possible that the name originates from the surrounding landscape.
"I was deeply impressed with these Chianti Classicos from Istine. Proprietor Angel Fronti draws from vineyards sites in and around Radda and Gaiole to craft gorgeous, classically-leaning wines of real distinction. All of the Chiantis are aged in cask, which really allows the personality of each site to come through. The exception is the Riserva, which is a blend of the estate’s top Sangiovese, but it, too, is noteworthy. In its current incarnation, Istine is a young estate, but it is very much a property to keep an eye on."