The Antinori family has been making wine in Tuscany for generations.  Piero Antinori, the current patriarch of the aristocracy is credited with creating the first “Super Tuscan” wine, Tignanello, in 1978.   Tignanello, a blend of Sangiovese and Cabernet, ignored the formulaic laws for chianti prevalent at the time in favor of making what Antinori thought was ultimately his best wine.  Since the wine did not conform to the Chianti blending laws, it could not be labeled Chianti Classico.  These laws have since been relaxed to the benefit of the Chianti name.
This wine is the benefactor of such relaxation.  The 1997 Chianti Classico Riserva Badia a Passignano, is 100% Sangiovese. Grown on the estate of the same name, in the heart of the Chianti region, this wine shined in the 1997 vintage. Still a deep, dark blackish red, though when you hold the wine to the light, you can see the beginnings of brick coming thru. The nose is classic Sangiovese. Flowers, crushed berries, tobacco, warm road dust – and they lead to a wonderfully ripe palate with ample fruit, good acids, and nice underlying complexity. Balanced and delicious.  Decanted for 1 hour, throwing no sediment at all. Served alongside roasted pork tenderloin and escarole with beans, it was brilliant.  On it’s own, the wine seemed too austere and slightly lean; so keep it with food on the table.  91 points.
2007 Antinori Badia a Passignano CCR – Note the older “currency” type label
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