The Pellegrini family, Aia Vecchia’s owners, have been grape growers in the Bolgheri area for several generations and have sold their grapes to many of the most notable wineries in the region for decades. After replanting their original vineyards in 1995, the following year they took the plunge and established their own winery with the goal of creating a portfolio of small-lot, high-quality Super Tuscan blends focusing on Bordeaux grape varieties. The Pellegrinis also located and purchased exceptional pieces of land in the Bolgheri DOC of coastal Tuscany, which had been shown to be ideal for Bordeaux varieties.
On one of the family’s properties there was an old building called Aia Vecchia, which would become the symbol and namesake of the company. The family enlisted the help of well-known agronomist Daniel Schuster in the selection of their plant material, which was imported directly from Bordeaux. They also sought out the services of another highly talented consultant—Hungarian winemaker Tibor Gal, who had been chief winemaker at the pioneering Super Tuscan Ornellaia in Bolgheri. With this lineup, Aia Vecchia developed Lagone, their Merlot-based first wine, in 1998.
The Bolgheri property proved to be ideal for high-quality Bordeaux-style wine. The area enjoys warmth and light from the sun, both directly and reflected from the sea. At the same time, it has sea breezes to temper the afternoon heat. This combination typically allows an early harvest. From the hand-picking of the grapes on, the winery’s attention to detail is focused on ensuring that the best quality goes into each bottle. Given the success of this vineyard’s Lagone, Aia Vecchia under the supervision of Gal launched a Cabernet-based Super Tuscan in 2001, their top label Sor Ugo.
AIA VECCHIA VERMENTINO TOSCANA IGT
Vermentino is the star white grape variety of the Tuscan coast, perfectly capturing the feel of an afternoon in the Maremma hills looking out at the Tyrrhenian Sea. Aia Vecchia blends in a small amount of Viognier to add an intriguing hint of tropicality.
AIA VECCHIA “LAGONE” TOSCANA IGT
The flagship wine of Aia Vecchia, Lagone was created in 1998 by Tibor Gal, the famous winemaker who started at Aia Vecchia after having worked at Ornellaia. It was named after a little creek running between the vineyard and the villa. Made from international varieties in an area renowned for such "Super Tuscan" wines, Lagone is the wine that most represents the Aia Vecchia philosophy: the highest possible quality at a reasonable price.
AIA VECCHIA “SOR UGO” BOLGHERI DOC SUPERIORE
As the winery’s most important and awarded wine, Sor Ugo represents the elegance and strength of Bolgheri. A "Super Tuscan" Bordeaux-blend created by the prominent enologist Tibor Gal, it is named after Ugo, the first Pellegrini family member who started to work with grapes and wines a century ago (“Sor” is an old honorific, short for Signor).
AIA VECCHIA "ORLETO" TOSCANA IGT
For generations the Pellegrini family have grown grapes in the Bolgheri region of Tuscany. In 1995 they founded their own winery and have since dedicated themselves to creating authentic wines representative of their terroir and their family’s deep ties to the region. Orleto is Aia Vecchia’s first new wine in over 20 years and a culmination of decades of interest in creating a monovarietal wine from Cabernet Franc, a grape that is perfectly suited to the Bolgheri area.
Aia Vecchia “Sor Ugo” Bolgheri DOC Superiore 2016
Aia Vecchia “Lagone” Toscana IGT 2018
The 2018 Lagone is a gorgeous wine from this estate in its twentieth vintage. Ripe dark cherry, plum, mocha, spice and licorice all meld together in the glass. The 2018 is succulent and racy, with terrific freshness and tons of style. Lagone is not as flamboyant as it was in the early days, but it still offers tons of immediacy and appeal.
Aia Vecchia “Lagone” Toscana IGT 2020
The 2020 Lagone is a very pleasant Maremma red. Succulent cherry/plum fruit, spice, dried herbs, leather, menthol and rose petals are front and center. Medium in body and quite open, the 2020 is a charmer. Drink it over the next few years.
Aia Vecchia "Orleto" Toscana IGT 2018
The 2018 Orleto, 100% Cabernet Franc, is a new wine from Aia Vecchia. Dark, sumptuous and super-expressive, Orleto shows just how well-suited Franc is to the Tuscan coast. Espresso, mocha, leather, tobacco and incense play off a core of dark fruit as this sensual, wonderfully engaging red opens in the glass. Soft, plush contours wrap it all together in style.
Aia Vecchia “Lagone” Toscana IGT 2018
“The 2018 Lagone is a dry, medium-bodied red wine with a medium amount of tannin that’s firm without intruding upon the wine’s ripe fruitiness or its richly supple texture. The wine’s aromas and flavors suggest plum, red cherry, wild berries, herbal notes, smoke, cedar and spice; while the aroma is not explosive, the flavors are pronounced in your mouth, and easy to discover. The wine has depth from its high acidity, and it shows strong length across the palate — more so than you might expect in a fairly inexpensive wine. Good grapes and good winemaking all around. And a real change of pace from Tuscany’s dominant Sangiovese.”
Aia Vecchia “Sor Ugo” Bolgheri DOC Superiore 2018
The 2018 Sor Ugo is a superb Bolgheri red. Pliant, succulent and so expressive, the 2018 offers plenty of richness, but with terrific energy, too. Black cherry, mocha, spice, licorice and chocolate all build as the 2018 fills out over time. The purity of the flavors is striking.
Aia Vecchia “Lagone” Toscana IGT 2019
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.
Aia Vecchia “Sor Ugo” Bolgheri DOC Superiore 2020
The 2020 Sor Ugo is packed with blackberry, cloves, leather, menthol, licorice and chocolate. Rich and resonant in the glass, with tons of energy, Sor Ugo has plenty to offer. The substantial, expansive finish is especially of note. I would prefer to drink this over the next decade or so.