~ The new cantina Antinori barrique aging cellar ~

Stylish, sleek, modern and international.  Such is the new aging cellar on the Antinori Estate in Chianti Classico.  No, I’m not describing the subject of today’s article, but I easily could have been.

Antinori is a well established trailblazing pioneer of Italian wine.  I get it.  It’s important and we are all in his debt for crafting gems like Tignanello, Solaia and Guado al Tasso; just to name a few.  However, in order to make wines like those, there has to be other wines of lesser pedigree. Wines that are easily consumed and brought to market quickly.  After all, this is a business and businesses need cash flow.  I get that too.  And that brings us to today’s wine.

~ Manicured vineyards on the Antinori estate in Chianti Classico ~

The 2013 Antinori “Villa Antinori” Chianti Classico Riserva is a well made, solid wine completely in the international style.  Smooth, round, with no rough edges.  It’s a polished blend of 85% Sangiovese and 15% Cabernet/Merlot that was vinified in stainless steel (for Sangiovese) and barrique (for Cabernet and Merlot).  Aging after blending takes place in Hungarian barrique.  (Is it a barrique if it’s not French?  Hmmm)

Deep ruby to violet in the glass, this has aromas of toast, blackberry and vanilla.  On the palate, it’s smooth, with relatively low acidity and lots of black plum fruit spiked with hints of vanilla and a bit of spicy pepper. Medium bodied, it’s a wonderful job given the ample production level and a wine that many people will enjoy.  But I expect more from a wine carrying the Riserva designation.  This falls a bit short in the complexity, age-ability and typicity departments.  Riserva’s should be bigger, more serious wines.  This drinks like a nicely styled Chianti Classico.  In that realm, the slightly elevated price reduces the value somewhat.  88 points about $25.   Disclosure:  This bottle was an importer provided sample.

~ The wine was very drinkable with my beef and pork stuffed peppers with spicy tomato sauce ~

The vintage above is not completely released as of this writing.  But past vintages are widely available.   Want to find this wine?   Click here: Wine Searcher


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