It's humbling to taste wines made by a family that has been in the game for 26 generations in one of the world's most famous wine regions. The family in question is Antinori, which is our new winery of the month for July and we have an outstanding range of the wines open to taste under Coravin.
Come in to Regional Wines & Spirits to taste through delicious Antinori wines this month, many of which will also feature as our wines of the week and be promoted in our newsletters so will be open on Wednesdays from 1pm onwards in store.
While we only have access to a couple of bottles of Antinori Tignanello, it's worth delving into what makes this such (and Sassacaia) such famous and outstanding Italian wine. Tignanello was the first Sangiovese on the record to be aged in barriques, the first contemporary red wine blended with non traditional Tuscan grape varieties (specifically Cabernet Sauvignon) and one of the first red wines in the Chianti Classico region that didn’t use white grapes in the blend. All up, that was a big call. Marchese Pierro Antinori first discovered the use of non indigenous grapes, and more specifically, those used in Bordeaux through his uncle, Marchese Mario Incisa della Rochetta, who had a vineyard at Tenuta San Guido in Bolgheri, on the Tuscan coast. At the time he was making wine using grapes better known as Bordeaux classics, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec and Petit Verdot.
At first, this was for his own personal consumption, but when the wine was released in 1968 as the legendary Sassicaia, a new wave of red wines was born in Tuscany. Today the wines of Antinori reflect this modern approach by including many grapes that are better known in Bordeaux than Italy.
We have a wide range of these lovely wines in store this month to taste and also some great whites too.
Bramito Chardonnay is...
This lovely smooth Chardonnay is made with grapes grown on the Castello della Sala Estate, which surrounds the medieval castle at Castello della Sala in the region of Umbria, which borders Tuscany.
The vineyards here are planted in Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, which both grow well in the clay soils here.
The 2019 Bramìto Chardonnay is characterized by delicate white flower notes followed by light sensations of citrus fruit. The palate is crisp, fresh and full bodied with lovely mineral notes which provide a long finish with flavours of ripe peach and notes of soft creaminess.
This wine is sealed with a screwcap; a modern touch used on many wines from Marchese Antinori.
Santa Cristina is one of the great wines in the Antinori stable. It's a modern Tuscan red with purple highlights and flavour notes of ripe cherries, one of Sangiovese's hallmarks and one which integrates harmoniously with the balsamic and mint notes from the Merlot and Syrah in the blend. Flavour notes of vanilla and coffee complete the aromas and the palate is soft and fleshy with a lingering fruity finish.
Oak maturation was brief with just a couple of months in large oak cuves. This wine is sealed with a screwcap, which is a welcome modern addition.
This is one of Marchese Antinori's top Tuscan wines and is made from the Peppoli Vineyard in the Chianti Classico DOCG. This wine was first made in 1985 and is a blend of Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine was aged in large Slovenian oak barrels with a small portion aged in stainless steel to retain freshness.
Antinori Cervaro della Sala Chardonnay
Marchese Antinori Cervaro della Sala Chardonnay was first made in 1985 and is blended with Grechetto for freshness. It was one of the first Italian wines to be given malolactic fermentation and aging in French oak barriques. The aim was always to create a white wine with the potential to age in the long term. It is named after the family who owned the Castello della Sala in the 14th century, a beautiful estate in Umbria, which is now owned by the Antinori family.
Antinori Vin Santo
This wine is made from Trebbiano and Malsavia grapes grown exclusively on Antinori vineyards in the Chianti Classico DOCG, which are hand picked into small packing cases, then spread out manually on reed mats to dry at the Tignanello Estate. The grapes are left to dry until the end of December and then softly pressed.
This is a great match with hard and aged cheddars.
Buy Antinori wines here: https://www.regionalwines.co.nz/pages/search-results-page?q=antinori