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.
Santa Cristina was originally introduced in 1946 as a Chianti Classico by Piero Antinori's father, Niccolò. However, with the passage of the 1984 DOCG laws - spearheaded by Piero Antinori- requiring lower vineyard yields, Chianti Classico grapes became so complex and rich that they required more aging than this fruity fresh wine should have to maintain its style and character. Therefore, with the 1987 vintage Santa Cristina moved away from the Chianti Classico designation, and with the 1994 vintage Antinori began including 10% Merlot to the blend to add soft, open fruit nuances to the wine.
Santa Cristina is probably Antinori's absolute best value Tuscan red. Grown on their hillside estate vineyard in Cortona, near Montalcino, this blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet, Merlot and Syrah with a hint of oak aging is a prime example of their ability to combine long standing traditions with dynamic innovation. The Wine Spectator said "This rich version boasts plum and pomegranate flavors, with spice accents. Tightens up on the moderate finish.
Fresh and fruity with a tangy undertone. Medium body. Light tannins and a vivid finish. Taste Tuscany and enjoy. Rating: 90 Points; James Suckling
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