Antinori's $45 Crème de la Crème of Chianti Classico

November 16, 2018
A Note from Sergio

We think of Chianti as a region, but historically, Chianti was also a style of wine because old Italian slang called any vermillion or Florentine wine "Chianti." In an attempt to codify the wine, nineteenth-century nobleman Baron Bettini Ricasoli in 1872 advised that the Chianti formula use Sangiovese for its basis, but fill it out with Canaiolo and various white grapes--in fact he mandated that the region's vineyards grow specific percentages of these grapes. The Baron's suggestions continued into the next century; in 1967 the DOC wrote rules that required Chianti makers to include these other grapes along with Sangiovese, thus inadvertently paving the road for the bad wines that once gave Chianti such a terrible reputation.

The Super-Tuscan revolution of the 1970s changed things, and people began to reconsider the beauty of Sangiovese. As producers like Sergio Manetti, creator of Le Pergole Torte, succeeded in crafting pure Sangiovese wines, other Chianti producers were forced to up their games. All of a sudden, these Sangiovese wines got better--an uptick in quality that was in part helped along by shifting DOCG regulations, including the 1984 creation of Chianti Classico DOCG. These Chianti regulations continued to change for the better, and forty years later, Sangiovese wines continue to evolve, grow ever finer, and, especially with the 2010 creation of Chianti Classico Gran Selezione designation, become wines that the world takes seriously.

Today, I'm delighted to offer a new allocation of Badia a Passignano 2013 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione, a beautiful Chianti from Antinori, a family that has been residing in and making wines in Toscana for more than six hundred years. This pure Antinori wine honors the past while looking to the future, and this Chianti Classico Gran Selezione shows how great Sangiovese can be when it's treated well. The fruit of a perfect benchmark growing season, today's '13 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione is a thing of beauty--it's elegant, muscular, aromatic and downright delicious (and it's just $45.99 a bottle). This Chianti Classico Gran Selezione is drinking beautifully today, but it'll amaze you a decade.


Today's Featured Sections Include:

1. Spotlight on Excellence: Benchmark Chianti Classico Gran Selezione from Antinori
2. Wine Events: Upcoming November Wine Tasting Events

My Best,

Sergio Esposito


Chianti Classico has a long, storied and complex history that began in 1716 when Cosimo III, Grand Duke of Tuscany, delimited the Chianti production zone to the nine communes between the provinces of Florence and Siena. In 1932, a ministerial decree distinguished the Chianti wines that derived from this zone by adding the suffix "Classico," and today's Chianti Classico production zone still lies between the provinces of Florence and Siena. While Chianti, Chianti Classico and Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG designations had been around for decades, in 2010 the Chianti Consortium created a new designation, Chianti Classico Gran Selezione, the new pinnacle of Chianti Classico expressions.

Today, we're delighted to present a new allocation of the benchmark Badia a Passignano 2013 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione, from the Antinori family. Chianti Classico Gran Selezione tops the Riserva in terms of status, and it requires at least 30 months of total aging, among other constraints like needing to come entirely from estate-grown fruit. It's the crème de la crème of Chianti Classico, and Antinori produces its Badia a Passignano bottling from the best grapes grown on the property. Indeed, the Antinori family makes just a single wine at the historic Badia a Passignano estate, its Chianti Classico Gran Selezione.

A benchmark vintage with classic Tuscan weather and an extended hang-time for ripening grapes, 2013 gave the Antinori team the perfect makings for a beautifully structured, enveloping and expressive Chianti Classico Gran Selezione. This '13 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione glows a brilliant ruby red in the glass, and it layers its succulent wild berries and dark cherries with balsamic herbs, pressed wildflowers, salty licorice, crushed pencil lead, and warm, briary earth. This wine has impeccable balance, matching its electric acidity with copious dry extract, fine-grained tannins, and a nicely mineral core. A bold, delicious wine that explodes with pure Sangiovese fruit, this '13 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione is an ideal wine for serious Sangiovese fans, Chianti enthusiasts, or wine lovers who want a full-throttle expression of Italian winemaking.

As enjoyable as this affordable, approachable Chianti Classico Gran Selezione is to drink right now, this wine will be even more beautiful years down the road. 2013 saw a classic, slow-ripening growing season that ended with a harvest of beautifully balanced berries, so this wine has the structure to age for years. Contact your portfolio manager soon to secure your '13 Badia a Passignano Chianti Classico Gran Selezione from our latest allocation--it gleams with the warmth of the Antinori family, shines with centuries of winemaking tradition, and fills you with Tuscan love.

Badia a Passignano 2013 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione
(Italy, Toscana - Sangiovese)
$45.99 Regular Price/btl
$42.31 Case Price/btl

*Pre-Arrival, July


Saturday, November 24 | 1:00-3:00 pm | New York, NY
A Walk-Around Tasting

Regular Ticket Price: $99.00/person
Early Bird Price: $49.00/person

Black Friday sees a return of one of IWM's favorite tastings, the Mini Grand, featuring wines from around the world. Featuring wines from Italy, France and Spain, this tasting will focus on wines to give as gifts, wines to pour at your holiday gatherings, and wines to have on hand throughout the holiday season. Join us and let IWM's team of sommeliers fill your glass with wine and your mind with knowledge as you walk around sampling wines from some of the finest producers on the face of the planet. It's a delicious break from your holiday shopping--and with preferential pricing on the event's wines, this event will set up your holiday with style. Complemented by meats and cheeses, this mini grand will let you travel the world of wine, without ever leaving glamorous New York City.

*Wines to be announced.

For more information, please visit our website Wine Events Page.

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