(2014) More oak present, and a much brighter fruit quality, a hint of cherry as well as spice and cedar. A hint of vanilla. The fruit is edgy and racy, with lots of élan, that cherryish edge and good weight and texture. Not a hugely complex wine, finishing on spice, but good drinking and balance. Perhaps a tiny touch of hollowness at the core.
(2014) Feels a little dank or diffuse compared to the 2009, without the clarity of fruit. There is a big dry extract core to this - too dry - with vinosity and vestigial sweetness, but it is pretty tough at this stage. Late on the palate a little glimpse of sweet fruit, but so dry and rather uncompromising. Cabernet dominates in this vintage, and Denis says it need considerable time.
(2013) There's a barnyardy and Bretty whiff from this, the colour medium ruby with some light on the rim. Cedary and vegetal in turns, it is very Old World in style, and though that bit of Brett is there, it seems appealingly savoury. Very dry on the palate, a lot of dry extract with tannins and savoury black fruit, good balancing acidity and a touch of smokiness. Bordeaux I presume, maybe St Estephe?
(2012) A little bit of age is obvious in the colour of this Sangiovese, which has a briary, damp woodland note to the aroma, some tobacco and quite discreet cherry-scented fruit. On the palate the sweetness and concentration of the fruit surprises, with tightly-defined tannins and a juicy red fruit tartness, a touch of tobacco and spice lingering into the finish. An enjoyable and balanced Brunello di Montalcino, in a food-friendly, lighter-bodied style.
(2012) This magnum was, for me either a little corked or had a touch of green, slightly resinous quality. The palate has good fruit and the balance is good, but this ultimately is a little short and relatively simple.
(2010) Antonini has been consulting at this Chianti Coop since 1996, working both with viticulturists and oenologists. There is 10% of Merlot joining the Sangiovese in the blend, as well as 5% of other grapes, and the wine is partly aged in new and one-year-old barrels. It has a pleasantly fruity nose, with some curranty undertones and a touch of tobacco to black fruits, and a little spice too. On the palate it is fresh and quite punchy: although there is a creaminess here, a nice firm edge adds some grip to the moderately long finish, supported by some mellow oak and spice.
(2010) This blend of Sangiovese with 10% Merlot was planted by Antonini in 2001, with the best available clones and a high-density planting regime. He is currently increasing the volume of Merlot, which thrives on the clay soils. The wine spends 12 months in French oak barriques, half of which are new. A subtle, complex nose hints at floral and spicy rose hip notes, with some cedary, smoky elements and plenty of bold black cherry fruit. On the palate this is medium-bodied and has lovely energy, the ripeness of that red fruit underpinned by a meaty, gamy layer and the spice coming through along with crisp acidity to lift and extend the finish. This is a dry, savoury wine, but one with a lovely sense of precision.
(2009) A little herbal and breezy, ozone character, with crisp fruit. The palate is edgy and racy, with lots of lemon and cherry acidity and crispness. The tannins add a peppery grip, and and the finish is dry and lemony. Savoury and moreish.
(2009) Sangiovese with a little Merlot. This cuvée is aged in French barriques, but with no new oak. It has quite a meaty, ripe, rich blackcurrant fruit with a very plush, modern sheen of vanilla. The palate has a racy, crisp-edged black fruit, with cherry skins and plum skins giving fruit and grip. The spice and charry oak comes through powerfully, in a fairly big, powerful wine with lots of tannins and spice, but relatively low acidity. Plush and commercial, this is 'international' Chianti of very good quality.
(2009) A slightly funky, game and leather character, with the fruit slightly stripped away. On the palate the wine too is a touch stripped, but it has an elegance and has a savoury, evolved style that would be good with food.
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