Badia a Passignano

Vintage

Classification

Chianti Classico DOCG Riserva

Blend

100% Sangiovese

Climate

The favorable weather patterns at the beginning of spring favored an early budding of about one week for the various varieties. All through the spring we had excellent weather, warm temperatures and the right amount of rain, resulting in excellent flowering and the relative vegetal cycle. This optimal vegetative balance of the vines ended in full ripening between the end of July and the beginning of August, about 7 to 10 days earlier than usual. The excessive heat wave around mid August, lasting only a week, did not slow down maturation, and the first grapes gathered showed immediate promise of an excellent vintage. Due to the early ripening of the grapes, we began our "green harvest" just after mid-August, selecting and thinning to eliminate any excessive production. In conclusion, the early harvest coupled with a rainless period of picking allowed us to bring in excellent mature grapes.

Vinification

This Riserva was produced from bunch-selected grapes from the estate of #Badia a Passignano#, harvested between mid September and the beginning 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,chocolate and vanilla flavours.

Awards

"Recommended"

DECANTER MAGAZINE - Ott. 2003 Score: 3 stars

2003 UK

Score 89/100

WINE ADVOCATE Apr. 2004

2004 U.S.A.

Score 88/100

WINE SPECTATOR Sept. 2003

2003 U.S.A.