If you love Italian wine and don’t know the name “Antinori,” then you have been living under a rock. The Antinori family is royalty in the real world and in the wine world, and its roots date back hundreds and hundreds of years. Like many families with such history, the Antinori’s influence is widespread. Piero Antinori and his daughters don’t own just one estate; rather, they are responsible for over a dozen properties ranging across Italy and into the rest of the world. What might be most impressive about this is that despite their stretched tendrils, the Antinori team never sacrifices quality. I have never had a wine from Antinori that didn’t make me appreciate the hard work and maniacal attention to detail at every property. Here are two of my favorites.
Chianti is serious business. There may have been a time when these wines were dismissed, but that is most certainly in the past. Badia a Passignano’s Chianti Classico Gran Selezione is a top-ten bottle in my eyes. What sets the Gran Selezione apart from the rest is that Antinori’s chief enologist Renzo Cotarella believes that it should be 100% Sangiovese. Because this Chianti is a mono-varietal wine, there is an incredible earthiness with mixed in with sweet fruit and rounded edges. This Chianti Classico is a treat. Drink now until 2025.
Bolgheri rests along the coast of Italy and it’s arguably region most famous for the creation of the Super-Tuscan genre of wines. And that’s what this Guado al Tasso is—a great, definitive Super-Tuscan wine. A deft blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and a touch of Petit Verdot, this wine is rich and rustic, structured yet elegant. This Antinori bottling is always a favorite, especially if your training grounds for wine were in Napa or Bordeaux. Guado al Tasso offers excitement in its youth, but don’t be afraid to let this age a decade or more and enjoy. Drink 2017 to 2030.