The Marchesi Antinori Chianti Classico Riserva is a wine drinker’s gem. While you will be familiar with the name Antinori, their Chianti Classico Riserva may not be as recognisable as for example Tignanello or Solaia, which are both made in the Chianti Classico region. However, Antinori Chianti Classico Riserva is a wine for those in the know, as it is considered to be the second wine of Tignanello. Tignanello is grown in the Chianti Classico designated area, between Greve and the Pesa river valleys. The vineyards are cited at extremely high altitude; 1150–1312 feet above sea level, in the Santa Cristina Estate, known also as Tenuta Tignanello. This means the vineyards are found at the highest altitude in the region of Chianti Classico, thus benefiting from a cooler temperature which helps the wine retain a wonderful freshness and balanced acidity. Since 2011, Antinori Chianti Classico Riserva has been produced exclusively from Sangiovese grapes grown in Tenuta Tignanello, made from the finest grapes that do not make it into Tignanello. The result is a wine that offer incredible quality at a superb price point, released today at £125 per case of six in bond.

Since moving exclusively to the stunning Sangiovese grapes derived from Tenuta Tignanello, the Chianti Riserva has grown in stature. It received 91 points from the Wine Advocate in 2012, the vintage currently trading at £165 and 93 points in 2013, which is currently trading at £160. The 2015 vintage promises even finer fruit, likely to be awarded its highest ever score. The 2015 vintage, which is already being viewed as potentially one of the greatest in the history of Tuscany, saw exceptionally dry and hot weather during the summer resulting in concentrated ripe berries. The wines have been met with huge excitement and are already reminiscent of the 2010 vintage; powerful, balanced, nuanced, exceptional!

Marchesi Antinori Chianti Classico Riserva undergoes the same expert hand seen in the fashioning of Tignanello and Solaia, creating a world class wine. After the grapes are harvested they are destemmed and sorted by hand. They are softly pressed to conserve the delicate Sangiovese aromas that are apparent once it reaches the glass; sour cherry and violets. The must is macerated on its skins, with soft techniques to retract the intense flavours and assure elegance. Fermentation takes place for a week, whereon the wine left in contact with the skins for another ten days. After the wine is run off its skins, it is moved to 60-gallon oak barrels, coopered mainly from French oak, where it completes its malacotic fermentation by year end. The wine is then racked, blended and aged in French and Hungarian oak barrels for a year. It is then bottled and given 12 months additional ageing.

It is not surprising that Antinori treat their Chianti Classico Riserva with the same focus and attention to excellence that is found in their other leading wines. They are master winemakers, with the savour-faire and capital to make their wines truly exceptional. Tenuta Tignanello Marchesi Antinori Chianti Classico Riserva, like the rest of the stable is exceptional, yet among their leading wines, this offers remarkable value for money.

Tenuta Tignanello Marchese Antinori Chianti Classico Riserva 2015, 6×75 – £125 IB

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