Badia a Passignano

Vintage

Classification

Chianti Classico DOCG Riserva

Blend

100% Sangiovese

Climate

The growing season was initially characterized by a late autumn of 2007 and a winter of 2008 which were neither particularly cold nor wet, conditions which favored an early budding of the vine compared to preceding vintages. The spring, with the first appearance of vine vegetation, was marked by adverse weather: frequent rainfall until the end of May. This caused a slowing of plant growth, but did not compromise the health of the vineyard and vines. June and July, instead, were very warm and only August saw occasional precipitations which assisted the vineyards to continue the development of their vegetation and grapes. September and October were highly favorable to picking operations, assisted by the excellent daily temperature swings from daytime to nighttime, particularly helpful to Sangiovese and optimal for the overall quality of the grapes. The Sangiovese harvest began during the second half of September and lasted until the tenth of October; the harvested grapes were of very high quality and totally ripe. From the very beginning of fermentation operations the musts showed fine aromas and flavors and a very interesting color, all of which promised wines of a notable quality level.

Vinification

Favorable weather during the harvest period and, above all, the extremely high quality of the grapes, allowed picking to go forward in as selective and targeted a way as possible, parcel by parcel on the basis of the ripeness level of the various parts of the vineyard. The grapes were hand harvested in order to guarantee a careful selection of only the finest bunches an operation which was facilitated by the excellent health of the grapes.
After destemming and a soft pressing, essential for the conservation of the typical character and aromas of Sangiovese, the must went into stainless steel fermenting tanks where it fermented and macerated on its skins. The must remained in contact with the skins with periodic pumping over of the cap and delestage (rack and return) techniques, both carried out as softly as possible, in order to guarantee an intense extraction but one which, at the same time, would maintain elegance and suppleness of tannins. From the very beginning of the fermentation process the musts showed great tonal richness, a direct result of the weather of the growing season which alternated warm days and cool, or even cold, evenings and nights.
The fermentation, in the sense of the transformation of the sugar into alcohol, lasted seven days and was followed by an additional two week period of contact on the skins.
After the wine was run off its skins, it went immediately into 60 and 75 gallon barrels of Hungarian oak and partly, into 60 gallon French oak barrels, where it went through a complete malolactic fermentation and then aged for fourteen months.
During this lengthy period, the various lots were regularly tasted and analyzed in order to assure maximum quality levels during this aging phase and then blended during the last part of the aging period. The final blend was then bottled  and given an additional twelve months period of bottle aging before commercial release.

Historical data

Badia a Passignano Riserva is produced exclusively from the finest grapes of the property of the same name, located in the Chianti Classico area of Tuscany on a total surface of 551 acres, 138 of which planted to vines. The abbey of Passignano, around whose walls the vineyards are situated, is one of the loveliest fortified monasteries of the zone and has been renowned for the quality of its wine for over a thousand years. The Antinori family acquired the land around the monastery (which belongs to the order of the monks of Vallombrosa) in 1987 and ever since then has used the splendid cellars of the abbey for winemaking purposes.

Tasting notes

The wine, one with an important impact, shows an intense ruby red in its tonality.
It is complex on the nose with aromas of red berry fruit, raspberries, blackberries, and ripe cherries in addition to its notes of spice and licorice on the finish.
The flavors are ripe and sweet and are sustained by substantial tannins, round and ample in support of the supple and velvety structure. Long and persistent, its tonic acidity is a classic characteristic of the Sangiovese cultivated at the Badia a Passignano.

Awards

Super Tre Stelle

Guida I VINI DI VERONELLI 2012

  Italia

92/100

Wine Advocate

  USA