Antinori Peppoli Chianti Classico 2005
Introduced in 1988 with the 1985 vintage, Pèppoli Chianti Classico DOCG is the archetypal modern Chianti Classico. In a departure from traditional Chiantis, Pèppoli combines the complexity and structure of a well-aged riserva with the fruity fragrance of a young wine. This style is made possible by a unique microclimate where east-northeast facing vineyards are planted in a small heat-retaining valley on mineral-rich rocky soils that are perfect for growing very fruity, lively Sangiovese. The wine further benefits from the use of better Sangiovese clones, severe grape bunch selection, delayed and cluster harvest when necessary. The wine is produced on Antinori's Pèppoli Estate, which extends over 100 hectares (247 acres), 55 (136 acres) of which are under vine.
Intense red fruit aromas, especially redcurrants and raspberries, are amplified by light hints of vanilla and coffee sensations. This full-bodied wine is pleasantly lingering with soft, sweet tannins. It should be drunk while still young for full expression of the fruit.
The Antinori family of Florence, one of the world's oldest and most distinguished wine producers, has lived in Tuscany since the 14th century and celebrated its 625th anniversary as wine makers in 2010. The current company president, Marchese Piero Antinori, believes in the tradition that the primary role of wine is to accompany food and enhance the dining experience. In Florence, the Antinori family has led a "Renaissance" in Italian wine making by combining long traditions, a love of authenticity and a dynamic innovative spirit.
One of the first wine regions anywhere to be officially recognized and delimited, Chianti Classico is today what was originally defined simply as Chianti. Already identified by the early 18th century as a superior zone, the official name of Chianti was proclaimed upon the area surrounding the townships of Castellina, Radda and Gaiole, just north of Siena, by Cosimo III, Grand Duke of Tuscany in an official decree in 1716.
However, by the 1930s the Italian government had appended this historic zone with additonal land in order to capitalize on the Chianti name. It wasn’t until 1996 that Chianti Classico became autonomous once again when the government granted a separate DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita) to its borders. Ever since, Chianti Classico considers itself no longer a subzone of Chianti.
Many Classicos are today made of 100% Sangiovese but can include up to 20% of other approved varieties grown within the Classico borders. The best Classicos will have a bright acidity, supple tannins and be full-bodied with plenty of ripe fruit (plums, black cherry, blackberry). Also common among the best Classicos are expressive notes of cedar, dried herbs, fennel, balsamic or tobacco.
Among Italy's elite red grape varieties, Sangiovese has the perfect intersection of bright red fruit and savory earthiness and is responsible for the best red wines of Tuscany. While it is best known as the chief component of Chianti, it is also the main grape in Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and reaches the height of its power and intensity in the complex, long-lived Brunello di Montalcino. Somm Secret—Sangiovese doubles under the alias, Nielluccio, on the French island of Corsica where it produces distinctly floral and refreshing reds and rosés.