Ste. Michelle Wine Estates at Gordon’s Featuring Antinori
On October 14th 2008 I attended another tasting/class at Gordon’s which featured some wines from Ste. Michelle Wine Estates; specifically, some from their Antinori portfolio of wines. Ste. Michelle Wine Estates acquired the rights to sell Antinori wines approximately 2.5 years ago. Interestingly enough, I had just watched a 60 Minutes piece on Antinori 2 days previous to the class. The CBS site shows the segment here. So I was naturally pretty curious about their wines. Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, based in the Columbia Valley, Washington, represents, owns, or distributes wines from at least 18 different labels including of course Chateau Ste. Michelle.
In this class, National Wine Educator George Foote chose to highlight 7 wines from Antinori. Generally, the wines tasted in the class are on offer at Gordon’s, and this was no exception. However, no Guado Al Tasso nor Tignanello at the tasting; they are still on my ‘wish list’ from Antinori. The 60 Minutes piece on Antinori stated that the winery has been owned by one family since its inception in 1385 from its home base in Tuscany.
My favorites from the tasting include one white wine and one red. The 2007 Antinori Santa Christina Campogrande Ovieto is an affordable, refreshing white wine made from some unusual grapes: 40% Procanico, 40% Grechetto, 15% Verdello, and 5% Drupeggio & Malvasia. It is from the Orvieto Classico DOC in Puglia. I found this floral, fresh, fruit-forward, with a nice zingy acidity that always make me happy. My favorite red of the evening had to be the 2004 Antinori Marchese Chianti Classico Riserva from the Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG in Tuscany. This is 90% Sangiovese and 10% Cabernet. I found this to be intensely fruity and spicy, yet balanced and smooth Chianti. A real ‘double bubble’ wine – delicious now, but could be aged for 10 years or more.