Antinori (Italy) Chianti Classico Riserva 1997
The giant house of Antinori is one of the true pioneers of Italian winemaking, their "super Tuscan" wines Solaia and Tignanello breaking the mould and revolutionising the entire Italian wine scene over the past couple of decades. This is their more traditional face, a beautifully elegant and classic wine with a nose of leafy cedarwood, tobacco, plum and a hint of roasted meat. There's a soft, spicy layer of sweet vanilla and some bright redcurrant fruit nuances. On the palate this is medium-bodied but has a silky texture. The acidity is forceful and gives the wine definition and clarity, whilst cherry and sharp damson-skin fruit tingles on the palate. A little creamy oak adds weight to the finish, and this has good length with a kick of tannin that suggests it will benefit from ageing.