The Antinori stable and its wines are studied and revered worldwide, with the wine industry and its academics, simply wanting to understand its secret. Marchesi Antinori are responsible for creating Tignanello, the 2015 of which we released last week. They also boast the remarkable Solaia, Guado al Tasso and the blockbuster white Cervaro Della Sala. There is another leading wine among these, however, which often flies under the radar, at least in the UK, Badia A Passignano Chianti Classico Gran Selezione. As a Gran Selezione, a classification that came into being in 2013, all grapes must be grown on the Estate, come from the finest Single Vineyards or plots of a vineyard and be aged for a minimum of 30 months to include three months in bottle. Therefore, while the 2015 vintage of Tignanello and Solaia release this year, the 2013 releases this month for Badia A Passignano. In 2013, it has achieved its highest ever score, with 94 points from Antonio Galloni, which puts it on par with many of the legendary wines of Italy, the same score as Solaia in 2013, which trades at £860 per case of six. What makes this Badia A Passignano 2013 stand out further as a superb proposition is the incredible price, we are releasing it today for £150 per case of six in bond.
In his tasting note Antonio Galloni explains that 2013 is the first vintage of Badia a Passignano Chianti Classico Gran Selezione ‘done entirely in cask and in a more refined style than was the norm in the past, when this wine was rather bombastic.’ He goes on to describe it as ‘Outrageously beautiful, vivid and voluptuous, the wine is dark and enveloping, with tons of character and remarkable finesse. To be sure, this site will always produce ample, broad wines, but the 2013 is also incredibly elegant.’ That is an incredible score and tasting note for a wine that costs £25 per bottle. This price and score gives it a Price Over Points Ratio (POP) of 18.75. We consider any wine below the POP score of 20 as a must buy.
Antinori’s incredible savoir-faire and deep pockets mean that this Estate gets everything it needs to produce an exceptional Gran Selezione. Badia a Passignano is produced exclusively from the Estate of the same name. The Estate’s vineyards are sited around the Abbey of Passignano (Badia a Passignano) which dates back to 395, established by the archbishop of Florence. Despite the tenure of Antinori, the monks of the Abbey remain guardians of the cultural and historical treasures. This stands to reason as Vallombrosian Order, a reformed branch of the Benedictines, which specialised in grape growing and forestry, even more so than Benedictines, who were inspirational around France and Italy in furthering winemaking and in locating the finest vineyards. Since the middle ages the Vallombrosian monks and resultantly the Badia a Passignano have specialised in scientific research behind cultivation, especially grapevines, the great Galileo taught there in 1587. One can understand why in 1987 the Antinori family purchased the acreage around the Badia, which still belongs to the Vallombrosian monks. Until today they use the incredible cellars in the monastery for the production of the wine.
Priced at £150 per case of six and with 94 points, Badia A Passignano Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2013 is a stunning buy. The vines have been cultivated for a millennia by an order dedicated to the cause of healthy vines and forestry, from this very special terroir. Today one of the most powerful and finest winemaking families assist in this and the result is one of the finest Gran Selezione wines on the market!
94 Points, Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media
‘The 2013 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Badia a Passignano is remarkable wine in many ways. For starters, the 2013 is the first vintage of the Badia a Passignano done entirely in cask and in a more refined style than was the norm in the past, when this wine was rather bombastic. Outrageously beautiful, vivid and voluptuous, the wine is dark and enveloping, with tons of character and remarkable finesse. To be sure, this site will always produce ample, broad wines, but the 2013 is also incredibly elegant.’
Badia A Passignano Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2013, 6×75 – £150 IB
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