I recently enjoyed two good wines from Fattoria L'Ottavo--a Chianti Classico and a Chianti Classico Riserva. In order to be a Chianti Classico, the wine has to made in the Classico subregion of the Chianti wine area, and it has to be aged in oak casks about four to seven months. Riservas are aged for at least two years, which smooths out the tannins.
I thought both wines were very smooth and paired well with a wide range of foods. They had a bright, ruby red color and aromas of cherry, plum, and vanilla.
The L'Ottavo Chiantis are made from about 80% Sangiovese grapes, with the remainder being comprised of Malvasia bianca, Canaiolo, Trebbiano, Merlot and Cabernet. Malvasia bianca, of course, is a white grape--an unusual ingredient in an ostensibly red wine.
The L'Ottavo estate is situated in Lucolena, part of the municipality of Greve in Chianti, at an altitude of 400m. The buildings at the estate have been converted into modern, stylish apartments for agritourists who want to visit the Tuscan winemaking region.
The L'Ottavo Chianti Classico sells for around $12 to $14, while the Riserva sells for around $16 to $19. They are affordable, enjoyable Italian wines.