Marchese Antinori Chianti Classico Riserva 2020 is an intense ruby red color. Expressive on the nose with fresh notes of red fruit that lead over to floral hints of mallow and lavender. The rich bouquet is accented by sweet notes of white chocolate that give rise to piquant spicy aromas. Entry on the palate is smooth and mouth filling, followed by elegant flavors with vibrant tannins that express the typical energy of the vineyards of origin. The finish is long, flavorful, and persistent echoing notes of white pepper, cocoa powder, and flowers.
The 2020 growing season in Chianti Classico began with mild, dry winter weather. Only in the last half of March did the area experience a short cold spell. These climatic conditions prompted early budbreak in the vineyards. Spring brought average rainfall and cool temperatures. The summer months were hot but were undisturbed by extreme heat events. Intermittent rain showers provided the grape clusters with perfect growing conditions.
The month of September, when harvesting operations got underway, was defined by light rainfall especially towards the end of the month ensuring the grapes reached complete phenolic maturity. The grape harvest began around September 20th with Sangiovese and was completed on October 9th with Cabernet Sauvignon.
Upon arrival in the cellar, the grapes were destemmed, gently crushed; the must was transferred into stainless steel tanks, where alcoholic fermentation occurred in about one week’s time. Very gentle pump overs and délestage techniques were performed during maceration on the skins for an intense extraction while preserving elegant and supple tannins. Malolactic fermentation, which took place spontaneously, was completed by the end of the year. The wine was then blended and went into French and Hungarian oak barriques for approximately one year. Marchese Antinori Riserva was then bottled and given a further twelve-month period of bottle aging before being released.
A burst of red Sangiovese fruit opens first, followed by hints of blood orange, cinnamon, spice, dried flowers and mocha develop later. The Tignanello is wonderfully sleek and racy, with fine tannins that lie below a core of bright, sculpted fruit. The balance here is just sublime. I can’t wait to revisit the 2020 with age.
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