Badia a Passignano

Vintage

Classification

Chianti Classico DOCG Riserva

Blend

100% Sangiovese

Climate

The latter part of winter and the beginining of spring were very mild for the time of the year and also very dry. This produced early budding - some 10 days earlier than average. In April the temperature suddenly dropped, causing an arrest in the growth of the buds. The summer was very hot and sunny and this weather continued for the whole of September and for the duration of the harvest which meant that at the time of picking, the grapes were exceptionally healthy and with a high sugar concentration. Overall the 1997 harvest has been somewhat less than expected in terms of quantity - but in terms of quality, this is an exceptional vintage, probably even better than the much acclaimed 1990 vintage and one of the greatest of the last fifty years.

Vinification

This Riserva was produced from bunch-selected grapes from the estate of #Badia a Passignano#, harvested between mid September and the end of October. The grapes were destemmed, lightly crushed, and macerated partly in 50 hectoliter wooden open fermentors (with periodic cap submersion for better extraction of color, complexity and tannins), and partly in stainless steel tanks for about 15 days. During this time the alcoholic fermentation was also completed; most of the the wine was then transferred into new, one-year-old and two-year-old 225 liter French oak barrels (Alliers and Troncais). Malolactic fermentation was completed by the year's end. The wines were then racked, and after careful blending of the different vineyard lots to produce the master blend, the majority of the wine was returned to the barriques ( and a small part in barrels of 500-700 liter capacity) for about 14 months of ageing , followed by bottling and a further period of at least 12 months in the bottle before release.
Alcohol : 13,5% Vol.

Historical data

Badia a Passignano Riserva is produced exclusively from the finest, most highly selected grapes grown on the estate of the same name situated in the Chianti Classico area. The abbey, which is located in an area that has been inhabited at least since the Etruscan period, is one of the finest fortified abbeys in the area. It has been renowned for its wine production for over 1,000 years. The Antinori family bought the 325 hectares' estate around the abbey (which is own by Vallombrosian monks)in 1987, including the use of the monastery cellars.
The #Badia a Passignano# estate has served to take Piero Antinori's experimental work with Tuscan wines to a higher level, in preparation for the 21st century. "The 1970's and '80s, in Tuscany, were characterized primarily by the production of vini da tavola with blends of indigenous and non-indigenous grape varieties, principally due to the lack of careful selection of Sangiovese grapes grown in the '60s," he says. "Fundamentally, we were taking an enological rather than a viticultural approach. Now I want to produce wines that more readily reflect the unique identity, personality and peculiarities of the Tuscan soil, as expressed through the Sangiovese grape. In a sense, Badia a Passignano completes the cycle that began when we circumvented the laws to create Tignanello."
The individuality of the wine is reflected by its label, which is produced following the unique process used to make Swiss bank notes. It depicts a modern rendering of Badia a Passignano and a vine leaf, and was designed by Piero Antinori, who says, "The label reflects genuine authenticity, because it is impossible to reproduce or counterfeit". He selected this symbolism to have the label serve as an analogy to the wine and reflect its value; the labels were engraved and printed in Switzerland by descendants of Christoffel Froschauer, who was honored for his printing by the city of Zurich in 1519, and whose firm has been the printer of Swiss National Bank notes since 1603.

Tasting notes

Traditional in its complexity, roundness, and elegance, yet modern in its intense fruitiness, accessibility and soft tannins. Deep dark cherry color, with concentrated cherry and chocolate flavours.