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Wines of Antinori Tasting at Gasbarro’s – October 2014

1002141935bHere we report on yet another outstanding wine tasting hosted by Mark Gasbarro, of Gasbarro’s Wines on Federal Hill in Providence.  This time the wines belong to the Antinori Family.  Ten wines were open and pouring, and Marco from Antinori was manning the table with the big guns.  I started, appropriately, with the whites and the lighter reds, working eventually to some absolutely stunning wines later in the lineup.  Some of these will set you back a bit, as Tignanello and Guado Al Tasso are classics and are priced commensurately.  There are a couple of others here though that deserve serious attention, and won’t cost you the house to drink.  Here are the notes on some of the wines:

2012 Villa Antinori Bianco – this is mostly Trebbiano and Malvasia, with Pinot Blanc, 1002141901Pinot Grigio and Rhine Riesling.  The net effect is a crisp, clean and refreshing wine.  Bright acid carries through to a nice finish.  Think shellfish, or the deck on a summer day.  I liked it.  About $13-$15.

1002141901a2013 Bramito del Cervo Chardonnay – this was also quite good.  Part of this sees time in French oak, part spends those months in stainless on the lees.  Together they produce a smooth Chardonnay without the heavy oak characteristic but with the creaminess from the sur lies treatment.  This is a quality wine.  About $24.

2010 Marchese Chianti Classico Riserva – now this was the eye opener of the night.  The next few wines we’ll talk about you expect good things from, as they are very pricey and 1002141935classics.  This wine was exceptional, and we don’t often use that term with Chianti.   Chianti is good, sometimes very good, but we haven’t run into many that provide that “wow!” factor.  Maybe we just don’t drink the right Chianti.  This one, however, provides the wow! factor and is a killer wine.  Luscious fruit clings to the palate, nice acidity cleans it off, firm tannins help provide beautiful structure and it finishes so long.  I would decant as the tannin is still high, or you could just watch it evolve in your glass over a few hours, but the wine is just gorgeous.  We are buying this as it is Value List material.  $38.

2008 Radia a Passignano – this is Sangiovese from the Passignano vineyards, some of 1002141935awhich is actually in the Riserva blend we just talked about.  This wine is also beautiful, but completely different in character.  The fruit here caries sweet tannins, and there is no hint of the tart black cherry you might expect.  It is smooth and drinking fabulously right now.  Somewhat unlike any other Sangiovese I’ve tried, I liked it very much.  A little pricey at $60, but pretty exceptional.

Now the classics:

2011 Tignanello – one of the first Super Tuscans, and labeled a simple table wine at inception as it flaunted the wine regulations of the day, Tignanello is an icon.  This verson is great as well, with beautiful, clean fruit and subtle oak.  Medium+ bodied it brings exceptional length.  It is young however, and really needs some bottle time.  Also pricey a around $100.  Looking at my notes from the 2010 vintage this is similar.  It is also unlike the Bolgheri, Bordeaux grape blends to the west as Tignanello is very Tuscan in style.  It is 80% Sangiovese, with 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc.

2010 Guado Al Tasso – here is another icon, and one of those Bolgheri Bordeaux blends as there is no Sangiovese to be found here.  1002141936This is full bodied with prominent oak.  Dark fruits permeate.  It is excellent, and tastes like a very good Bordeaux.  It is quite pricey at $135, which goes past what we would spend on anything but  a large format bottle.   I guess if you buy $100+ Bordeaux then this is an option.  It is an excellent wine.

There were others we didn’t single out, and all were good.  I think Antinori starts at good and quickly goes North from there.  We tend to like everything they make, and most of it we like very much.  The Chianti Classico Riserva and the Badia a Passignano ruled the day, and we’re adding the Riserva to our modest cellar.

Another great tasting at Gasbarro’s, where you can, of course, get all of these.

A votre sante!

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