Today was a new day in Tuscany. It was bright and very windy. A cold wind came out of the north and dried up everything. There are still rain clouds around but they are blowing all over Tuscany.
I spent the day with the Antinori family at their Chianti Classico estate, Tignanello. It’s where they make the famous super Tuscan red with the same name, as well as Solaia. I tasted some of the Cabernet Sauvignon grapes being harvested and they were full of sugar with thin and ripe skins. They were tiny, too. This is all good news for some serious wines in 2007. They hadn’t started harvesting the Sangiovese yet. That should start in a week or so.
I was there with the video team from our New York office, making some videos with Piero Antinori, the patriarch of the family firm, and his three daughters – Albiera, Allegra, and Alessia. I think you are going to like what they say. But I don’t want to spoil it.
Piero and his head winemaker Renzo Cotarella were very happy with the harvest so far. Renzo thinks that it could turn out to be “another 1997” if the weather holds out for another two weeks.
“Fingers crossed,” I said to him, though I have to admit that I am a little worried about the weather. It seems so changeable. Thank God I don’t make wine here!
Piero also poured a bottle of 2005 Guado al Tasso, which will be released next year. It is clearly outstanding. I loved the focused, fresh and bright currant and berry aromas and super racy and refined tannins. Renzo said that the harvest was difficult in Bolgheri in 2005 because of the rain in September, but the wines came out very well after a selection of the best grapes that arrived. Should be fun to taste it for the magazine in a blind tasting next year. What I taste so far from Bolgheri in 2005 is very impressive.
We also had a bottle of 1982 Solaia at lunch. What a treat. The wine showed wonderfully. And it was 25 years old. Piero was super happy. Here is my non-blind tasting note:
1982 Antinori Solaia: Good ruby garnet color. Ripe aromas of currants, raisins and leather turn to spices. Full and layered, with ripe tannins but slightly angular in the end. Long and minerally. It was very fresh and fruity just after decanting but within 30 minutes it began to fade. Showing well. 91 points, non-blind.