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Antinori is a name synonymous with wine in Italy, the equivalent of the royal family of wine in the country. Intimately involved in the wine industry of Italy since 1385, initially in Tuscany, but in more recent years their influence has grown seeing them involved in wine-making projects across the country. They were instrumental in the renaissance of Chianti and their portfolio of wines includes some stellar names such as Tignanello - the Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc blend that was most influential in the Super Tuscan movement, Solaia - the Cabernet dominant blend also from the Tignanello Estate and the beautiful Peppoli Chianti Classico.

An intense ruby red with purple highlights, the wine shows a nose with the excellent character of a Sangiovese from Chianti Classico, one with notes of cherries and wild cherries, strawberries and raspberries which mix and mingle with the typical aromas of the oak barrels. On the palate the wine flows softly and pleasurably with tannins which are both felt and supple. Savoury and vibrant, the wine is long and lingering on the finish and aftertaste.

The estate's 2009 Chianti Classico Riserva Badia a Passignano bursts from the glass with expressive dark cherries, plums, flowers and cloves. The Badia a Passignano is a bit brighter and more focused than the Marchese Antinori Chianti Classico Riserva, largely because it is 100% Sangiovese. Hints of tobacco, leather and cedar add further nuances on the soft, resonant finish. Over the last few years, the Badia a Passignano has been one of the most improved wines in the Antinori range. Rating: 92 Points; Antonio Galloni; Vinous; A wine with minerals, light herbs, spices and blueberries. Hints of walnuts. Full body, fine tannins and a long, long finish. Really excellent. Drink now. Rating: 93 Points; James Suckling

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