Badia a Passignano

Vintage

Classification

Chianti Classico DOCG Gran Selezione

Blend

100% Sangiovese

Climate

Autumn of 2009 and the following winter of 2010 were characterized by rain and low temperatures. Snow fell towards the end of 2009 and continued at intervals until mid-March. The weather assured an excellent period of repose for the vines which, together with the abundant precipitations of early spring, significantly delayed bud burst compared to the normal seasonal period. The months of April, May, and June, of crucial importance for vine growth and development, were characterized by high rainfall and lower than average temperatures, leading to a delay in the vine cycle which involved all grape varieties. The summer, warm in temperature and dry in climate, contributed to an excellent development of the grape bunches and a significant recovery of lost time in vine growth. Climatic conditions changed once again towards the end of July and during the first half of August with the arrival of rather low temperatures for the season and light rainfall which, together, slowed the color change of the grapes. September alternated warm, sunny, and breezy days with occasional rain which, fortunately, was regularly followed by north winds which rapidly dried the grapes and adjusted the micro-climate of the vineyards. Cool nights and warm daytime temperatures led to an optimal physiological ripening of the Sangiovese grapes, and picking, which began towards the end of September, was concluded around the 10th of October.

Vinification

The unusual climatic conditions of the vintage made a careful process of selection in every phase of the production process an indispensable necessity. Upon their arrival at the cellars, the grapes, after a delicate destemming, were manually selected on the sorting table to guarantee a product of the highest quality. This operation was of fundamental important in realizing the full potential of the crop during the elaboration of the musts. The fermentation lasted ten days and, after finishing their sugars, the grapes remained on their skins for an additional ten to twelve days. After being run off its skins, the wine went into Hungarian, and partly French, oak barrels where it went through a complete malolactic fermentation by the end of the year. After racking, the various lots, still kept separate on the basis of the various vineyard parcels of origin, were aged for fourteen months in 60 and 80 gallon Hungarian, and, again, partly French, oak barrels. During this phase, the various lots were constantly tasted and controlled in order to maximize the benefits of the aging process. The lots were then blended together and bottled at the end of the aging period. A further twelve month period of bottle aging concluded the winemaking process.

Historical data

The Badia a Passignano Gran Selezione is produced exclusively from the finest grapes cultivated in the Chianti Classico property of the same name. The Badia a Passignano abbey, where the vineyards are located, is one of the loveliest fortified monasteries in the area and has been renowned for the quality of its wines ever since the year 1000 A.D. The Antinori family purchased the over 800 acres (325 hectares) of land around the abbey (which belongs to monks of the Vallombrosian order) in 1987 and uses as well the splendid cellars of the monastery.

Tasting notes

An intense ruby red in color, the wine shows aromas of ripe fruit, at times of maximum ripeness, but with a total respect for the grape variety and an excellently maintained freshness. The notes of the fruit and of the oak fuse in harmonious balance with minty balsamic notes and suggestions of graphite. The rich palate, with supple and balanced tannins, is vibrant and fully expressive of Sangiovese. The length, persistence, and aftertaste are of notable importance and echo the fruit first felt on the nose.