Antinori - Superb Italian Rebel
A favourite wine of mine at the moment is Villa Antinori 2008 (available in Waitrose, Loki Wines £16-18)
It is still full of fruit flavours which have been gently softened and enriched by the oak and bottle ageing process. It retains good acidity to refresh your palate after each sip and the tannins are soft and rounded. Altogether this wine isT very well balanced and a perfect example of a wine with complexity and depth. Whilst the price is high compared to the UK's average price, if you are able to treat yourself to something special, I would highly recommend this wine.
As the name suggests, it is produced by the Antinori family in the Bolgheri area of Tuscany, Italy. The Antinori name was made by the Marquis Niccolo Antinori in 1928 when he, together with a handful of other local wine producers, made wine in breach of the local restrictive wine laws. Outside of these laws, the winemakers could be more innovative in their experimentation and used a mixture of indigenous Sangiovese grapes with Bordeaux varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc.
Their law breaking meant that they could not classify the wine under the DOC (Denominazione di Origine Controllata) banner which serve to protect and preserve the local wine production similar to that of Stilton cheese, Melton Mowbury Pork Pie and Scotch Whisky). Their wines could only display the lowly quality indicator of Vini da Tavola (table wine)*. However, due to the quality of the final wine, they have become known as Super-Tuscans and are some of the most prestigious wines in the world. Tignanello and Solaia are the most prestigious Super-Tuscans to come out of the Antinori domain. Another well known Super-T is Sassacaia.
*These classifications were later addressed with the introduction of the Indicazione Geografica Tipica status and subsequently the Bolgheri region gaining its DOC status.
So, if you get the chance, try this wine and see, smell and taste the rebellious quality of an expertly made wine from a beautiful area of Italy.