Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Report from ... Badia A Passignano Older Vintage Tasting and Tour - February 16, 2015

Arrival @ Badia A Passignano
one of the properties of Antinori in Chianti Classico
Looking out over one of the vineyards surrounding the Monastery,
the center of the property - planting is 90% Sangiovese
A miniature recreation of the Monastery
After centuries of being in other people's hands, in 1986 Antinori bought the property,
reverting the Monastery back to the monks and using the surrounding lands for vineyards
The wines made from the property are aged in the cellar of the Monastery
Which are cavernous and perfect for the aging of wine
Badia A Passignano "Vertical": 1997 / 1999 / 2004 / 2005 / 2009
The "Top Expression of Chianti Classico of Antinori"
and represents the best 20-25 hectares

Badia A Passignano wines...
Vineyards were planted in the late 80's and 90's on both sides of the monastery, totaling 55 hectares.  Average production is approximately 100,000 bottles (less in years like 2008 and 2011).  Deep colour with high acidity are typical of the Sangiovese from this area and these vineyards ...

Badia A Passignano 1997
100% Sangiovese - mostly French oak aged
Nose: leathery, earthy and a touch vegetal
Taste:  lacks fruit right out of the bottle though it is smooth and has decent
licorice, cedar and smoky notes; still has good sweet tannins and acidity
With Time:  turns quite oaky

Badia A Passignano 1999
100% Sangiovese - mostly French oak aged
Nose: cedar, herb and vegetal
Taste:  forget the nose this one is made on the palate.  Sweet black fruit with mineral,
full fruited with dried blackberry taking lead - a real intensity of flavour - long
medium-spiced finish with hints of cedar, dried vanilla-cassis lingers ... elegant and inviting
With Time:  still holds up and has lots more to give - this one is a pure delight

Badia A Passignano 2004
100% Sangiovese - Hungarian oak starts to show its influence
Nose: chocolate, coffee, mocha, blackberry and vanilla - very alluring
Taste:  coffee, mocha, smoke, dark chocolate, spice; though there seems to be a definite
heat to the wine and gives one a real cheek flush within a few sips (declared: 13.5%???);
rich, robust, but shows a clunkiness and lacks finesse
With Time:  total turn around, it develops finesse, structure and balance - heat backs off

Badia A Passignano 2005
100% Sangiovese - Hungarian oak (70%) first year it overtakes French
Nose: blackberry, cassis, mineral/saltiness and cedar
Taste:  mineral, quite cedary, high acidity and tannins; it shows a certain elegance
yet there are those wood tannins that seem to get in the way
With Time:  fuzzy tannins with plenty of smoke and cedar

Badia A Passignano 2009
100% Sangiovese - 95% Hungarian oak, only 5% French
First year declared as a Gran Selezione

Nose: lots of lush dark fruit - blueberry, blackberry, black cherry, vanilla,
mocha - intense and truly inviting
Taste:  sweet dark fruit, lush/soft tannins, good balancing acidity, vanilla oak,
really pleasant, full with cassis and blackberry linger
With Time:  pure hedonist drinking experience

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