Chianti Classico deep dive (6) exploring Lamole, the smallest UGA

Chianti Classico has recently been divided into 11 UGAs (Unità Geografiche Aggiuntive, which translates inelegantly into Additional Geographical Units). This move, from the 2022 vintage, allows producers to indicate where the grapes came from in this large appellation. It’s not a strict terroir-based classification (this would be much too granulated to be useful), but it does allow consumers to know the rough address of the wine they are drinking, even if they can’t predict taste from this.

Of these 11, Lamole is the smallest and easiest to understand. There are just 80 hectares of vines here, all at altitude (average is 500 m). It’s part of the Greve Valley, and there are lots of trees surrounding the vines. The soils are non calcareous with a lot of Macigno sandstone. Just 88 people live here and 8 producers make wine in Lamole, with one –  Lamole de Lamole – farming half the vines.

Susanna Grassi, I Fabbri, Lamole

We visited the appellation with Susanna Grassi of I Fabbri, following lunch in the Ristore di Lamole, and then tasted through a bunch of wines.

Podere Castrellinuzza Chianti Classico 2021
14% alcohol. Organic. Fresh, linear, focused and bright with tart cherry fruit and nice dusty tannins. Juicy and linear with a sour cherry finish. Very bright and finely spiced, with a slight sternness and bitterness on the finish. 93/100

Podere Castellinuzza Chianti Classico Riserva 2020
14% alcohol. Aged 24 months in cement. Organic grapes. Taut and focused with a tart, slightly bitter twist to the cherry and raspberry fruit, with nice grippy tannins. There’s purity and focus here with lovely sour cherry and plum, as well as tart raspberry notes. Fresh but structured. 94/100

Castellinuzza di Claudia Cunuzzi Chianti Classico 2018
14% alcohol. 95% Sangiovese with some Malvasia Nera and Canaiolo fermentation in stainless steel then matured for two years in Slavonian oak botti. Fresh and linear with bright berry and cherry fruit showing a savoury, spicy, slightly woody twist. Taut and linear and a little austere, but nicely tart and juicy. 91/100

Castellinuzza Piuca Vigna Piuca Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2019
13% alcohol. Raised in cement, tonneaux and barrique. Fresh and fine with nice juicy cherry and plum fruit, showing a strong mineral streak and nice acidity. Bright and focused with a sour cherry finish. Lovely intensity to this bright wine. 94/100

I Fabbri Chianti Classico Lamole 2021
13% alcohol. From the highest vineyards in Chianti Classico at 630-680 m, organically farmed, aged in concrete. Fine, bright, elegant and tart with fresh pure red cherry and cranberry fruit, showing precision and focus. A lovely bright wine with purity, good focus and weight and a tapering, finely spiced finish. Tart and beautiful. 94/100

I Fabbri Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2019
13.5% alcohol. A selection from oldest lower vines. Aged two years in large cask. Classically proportioned with bright cherry and plum fruit supported by good structure and nice spicy detail. Dense and structured with nice weight. Nice grip to this wine. 94/100

Jurij Fiore Sonocosì a Lamole Chianti Classico 2022
From 580 m. This spends 10 months in cement. Lovely aromatics: perfumed and bright with cherry and cranberry notes, as well as a touch of spice. The palate is really pure, fresh and linear with lovely finesse and elegance, as well as good structure and acidity. So pretty but also with good structure and acidity, it’s a truly lovely expression of Chianti Classico. Not for everyone. 95/100

Jurij Fiore Porcacciamiseria Lamole Chianti Classico 2021
13.5% alcohol. 18 months in French oak, 30% new. 654 m high, 75 year old vines. Concentrated, intense and vivid with high acidity and firm tannins as well as bold cherry, raspberry and blackberry fruit. There’s some spicy, smoky detail with density and firm tannins, with some wood. An impressive wine: a bit angular. 93/100

Castello di Lamole Le Stinche Chianti Classico 2016
14% alcohol. Sour cherries, stewed plums and liqourice here with some tar and spice notes. Showing some bitter hints and a bit of development, this has lots of flavour. 90/100

Il Campino di Lamole Testardo Chianti Classico 2020
13% alcohol. Tart and spicy with good acidity and some sour cherry, as well as notes of incense, tar and blood, as well as some clove. Has nice focus and grip with freshness and savoury detail. 91/100

Il Campino di Lamole Testardo Chianti Classico 2019
13.5% alcohol. Dense and firm but with nice precision, with sweet berry and black fruits framed by spice, resin and incense as well as a touch of old wood. Firm and grippy with a spicy touch and nice fruit. 92/100

Le Masse di Lamole Chianti Classico Riserva Le Masse di Socci Annamaria 2019
14% alcohol. There’s a touch of Merlot in the blend. This has a sappy, slightly bloody edge to the sweet cherry and plum fruit, with notes of dried herbs and spice, as well as some minerals. Lovely weight and balance: supple, elegant and refined. 95/100

Le Masse di Lamole Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2016
14% alcohol. Savoury, ashy and spicy on the nose with some development. Earthy, spicy and developed on the palate with a drying finish. Quite tired and evolved, with stewed fruit. 85/100

Lamole de Lamole Maggiole Chianti Classico 2020
14% alcohol. Nice weight and balance here with a hint of wood spice and coffee alongside sleek ripe berry and cherry fruit. Fresh and detailed with lots of fruit and quite a bit of oak character. 90/100

Lamole de Lamole Lareale Chianti Classico Riserva 2019
14% alcohol. Woody, dense and quite grippy with firm tannins and some wood spice, showing lots of fruit and also quite a bit of structure. Modern and polished, this is nicely expressive in a forward, modern style, finishing salty and grainy. Give it time for the oak to integrate. 92/100