Tag Archives: Antinori

Chianti Classico: Characterful Wines at Value Prices

What I love about Chianti, besides the value prices, are the reliably high acidities, tart red fruit, and savory elements, suggestive of herbs like tarragon, and aromas reminiscent of a forest hike. These characteristics, when combined with food typical of the region–rich pastas, tomato based sauces and braised meats–create unbeatable pairings. For me, these wines truly represent the soul of Tuscany, reminding me of walks in its olive groves and memorable meals in which the wine and food combine to create sublime moments of true satisfaction. Continue reading

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Chianti: Vast Region Makes Vast Improvements

Quality improvement has been the watchword for most of the wine world over the past few decades. As a result, those of us who love wine have access to better wines, from virtually all regions, than we’ve ever had before. A vast, region-wide example of conscious planning to make better wines is the huge project the leading organization of Chianti producers in Italy, the Consorzio Vino Chianti Classico, launched nearly 25 years ago. Continue reading

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Sangiovese: Italy’s Most Ubiquitous Grape

The ultimate expression of Sangiovese for me is the 100% Sangiovese from the Montalcino area in Tuscany, known as Brunello di Montalcino. Montalcino is a relatively warm and dry micro climate where the Sangiovese grape can experience a longer growing period than virtually anywhere else in Italy. Continue reading

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Super Tuscans: Legacy of a One-Time Wine World Darling

Super Tuscans were darlings of the wine world from the mid-’90s through the early 2000s. These wines, whose producers include some of Italy’s most illustrious and historically significant, are based sometimes on blends of Sangiovese with international varietals–like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot–and sometimes just on international varietals. The term Super Tuscan is used to describe any red wine from the Tuscan region that does not conform to the region’s DOC(G) blending requirements, such as the Chianti DOC rule that the dominant grape of the blend has to be Sangiovese. Many Super Tuscans garnered very high scores from Parker and the Wine Spectator, leading to much demand and increasingly high prices for these wines. By the middle of the first decade of 2000, however, many Italian producers were offering Super Tuscan blends, most of which were indistinguishable from red international varietal blends from elsewhere. The market grew increasingly soft for these kinds of wines, and only the top, most well established names are still commanding prices well over $100 a bottle, and the demand even for these wines is much reduced from their heyday. Continue reading

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