2012 Villa Antinori Chianti Classico Riserva

SKU #1268931 92 points James Suckling

 Very aromatic with dark fruits, dried meats and flowers that follow through to a full body, round tannins and a fresh finish. Tangy and delectable. This is always a delicious Chianti Classico Riserva.  (8/2015)

91 points Wine Enthusiast

 Made with Sangiovese and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, this opens with aromas of red berry, plum, violet and whiff of cedar. The elegantly structured, savory palate delivers juicy black cherry, clove, ground pepper and grilled herb alongside fine-grained tannins and fresh acidity. It's well balanced and already accessible. (KO)  (9/2015)

90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2012 Chianti Classico Riserva Villa Antinori is Sangiovese that has been enhanced by small percentages of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Fruit is sourced from the various properties owned by the Antinori family in the Chianti Classico appellation such as Badia a Passignano, Tenuta Tignanello and Peppoli. The family just bought a new property called San Sano near Castello di Ama and some of that fruit was used here too. This wine shows very nice ripeness with luscious, dark fruit flavors backed by spice and leather. (ML)  (10/2015)

90 points Vinous

 Dark red cherry, plum, mocha, spices and mint flesh out in the 2012 Chianti Classico Riserva Villa Antinori. Rich and sumptuous in the glass, with considerable richness, the 2012 shows the darker, more voluptuous side of Chianti Classico. Even with all of its intensity, the 2012 retains considerable freshness. Dollops of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon round out the blend. (AG)  (9/2015)

90 points Wine Spectator

 A tightly wound version, this boasts black cherry, raspberry, leather, spice and tea flavors. Leans toward the tannins on the finish, staying firm, fresh and long. Best from 2017 through 2023. (BS)  (10/2016)

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Price: $29.99
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Staff Image By: Jim Barr | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/23/2017 | Send Email
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I pointed out several months ago to Greg St.Clair, our Italian wine buyer, that he was an evil person, imposing horrible buying habits on most of us, including yours truly, at K&L. What drove me to this realization is that for the first time last year, I discovered that I have more Tuscan red wine (mostly Brunello and Rosso di Montalcino) in my wine room than I do Bordeaux. And, it is all his deceitful, conniving fault. He forced me into buying these wines, and, in reality, I am really grateful that he did; I have some incredibly great wines aging in that room. Well, I am adding this classic Antinori Riserva to that collection. Medium-deep ruby in color with dense, thick legs, the nose is opulent and powerful with red berry fruit driven characteristics, and mosswood, leathery, dusty notes with a touch of mild toastiness. Rich, broad, viscous, and distinctive in the mouth, all these qualities carry over nicely to a wine of incredible complexity, depth, and structure, yet with perfect balance. This Gem refuses to quit on its bright, lush finish. Both Rusty and I absolutely love this Riserva Gem and plan to put several cases in our wine room for future consideration. If you want to try it near-term, decant and air (of course!) for an hour or so, to give it time to really open up. A GREAT LONG-TERM VALUE!!! …..A K&L WINE MERCHANTS’ DIRECT IMPORT….. ***** 13.5% ABV *****
Drink from 2020 to 2030

Staff Image By: Alex Schroeder | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/7/2016 | Send Email
This wine is for me the embodiment of Old World elegance. It captures the savory Sangiovese flavors of cherries, raspberries and plum with subtle notes of spices and herbs. It has a soft earthy texture underlying rich, concentrated fruit and just a touch of acidity. Very well balanced, structured and, in a word, elegant.

Staff Image By: Stefanie Juelsgaard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/6/2016 | Send Email
This wine would be a wonderful introduction to the world of Chianti for anyone new to the variety or region. It is a lovely blend of red fruits and mild acidity, with soft tannins, and a lighter than expected mouthfeel. The earthy qualities are in no way overpowering in this wine, but add some structure and depth, which is perfect for someone used to drinking more fruit-forward wines. Because this Chianti is lighter bodied with cherry and raspberry notes predominant, I feel it can easily be enjoyed now with a few hours of decanting.

Staff Image By: Greg St. Clair | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/6/2016 | Send Email
Tasting this wine was a revelation for me. I had felt in past vintages that Antinori had become too big, that they had lost their way as a top Chianti producer; this wine really shows they’re back on track! The nose is so pure, classic Sangiovese aromatics of wild cherry, earth, leather and a woodsy spice fill your nose. On the palate the wine carries those same aromatics and turns them into lively flavors. As the wine warms in your mouth it builds, opens and expands the spice and leather blossom and adds a complex layer to underscore the wild cherry. This wine is really built for the future; superb balance and structure. I opened mine and decanted it a couple of hours ahead of time and it just exploded. While built for the future it is so well balanced you can drink this wine easily now, as I did with my bottle! Try it with your favorite pasta or as I did with grilled pork chops! Kudos to Antinori for getting this fabulous Chianti Classico back on track!
Drink from 2016 to 2022

Staff Image By: David Driscoll | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/6/2016 | Send Email
It's been a while since I've tasted Chianti that balanced the softness of the wild cherry with the savory, meatier flavors this well. Everything about the Antinori Riserva's profile is harmonious and fluid in its flavor. It's equal parts old school and new school, equal parts fruit and leather, equal parts structure and suppleness. It's a complex Chianti, one that expands beyond the simple table wine elements we adore so much and blooms into a more expansive experience. I could drink this with pasta, with a steak, with pork tacos, or just on its own after a long day at work. You can cellar it, or you can decant it and enjoy it now. This is a can-do Chianti.

Staff Image By: Rachel Vogel | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/6/2016 | Send Email
Fresh cherry, dry earth and savory notes on the nose become integrated and elegant as the wine opens up in the glass. These flavors are complemented on the palate with the polished and light structure of the wine. At first, the ripe fruit is the star of the show but as time progresses the spice really begins to shine. Throughout it all, an underline of classic Sangiovese savoriness gives depth to each sip.

Staff Image By: John Downing | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/6/2016 | Send Email
After a long absence from our sales floors, the Villa Antinori Chianti Riserva is back in stock. This iconic label remains one of the benchmark wines for Antinori and we love the 2012. Made from ninety percent Sangiovese and ten percent Cabernet, it boasts a seamless palate of red and black fruit flavors with ample underlying acidity and plenty of length. It's a bit shy when first opened but fleshes out perfectly with proper aeration and there's nothing out of place. Simply delicious.

Staff Image By: Mike Parres | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/1/2016 | Send Email
This is simply beautiful. The opulent, forward fruit that is typical of the year is present, but a firm sense of structure keeps things from going over the top. If that sounds appealing you’ll love this wine. Dark red fruit, flowers, minerals and spices come together beautifully in this Riserva. Buy a couple, it will keep.

Additional Information:



- The most widely planted grape in Italy is Sangiovese, a high-acid grape with moderate to high tannins, apparent earthiness and subtle fruit. It is thought to have originated in Tuscany and its name, which translates to "blood of Jove," leads historians to believe it may date all the way back to the Etruscan period, though historical mentions only go as far back as the early 1700s. Though planted all over modern Italy, the most significant wines made from Sangiovese still come from Tuscany: Chianti and Brunello di Montalcino. Sangiovese must make up 75% of a blend from the Chianti DOCG t be labeled as such, traditionally allowing for Canaiolo, Trebbiano and Malvasia for the remainder, though more recently small proportions of Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot have been allowed. In Brunello di Montalcino the wine must be made entirely of Sangiovese. Prugnolo is Montepulciano's name for Sangiovese, and it is used there for the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano wines. In the DOC of Carmignano Sangiovese can be blended with 20% Cabernet Sauvignon. There are also Super Tuscans, IGT wines that blend Sangiovese with large proportions of Cabernet or Merlot. Elsewhere in Italy it is a workhorse grape, though it does find some success (though not the longevity) in the Montefalco and Torgiano wines of Umbria as well as the foundation of Rosso Piceno and a significant element of Rosso Conero from the Marches. Like Nebbiolo, Sangiovese has struggled to find footing outside of Italy, though in recent years California wineries have been having better fortune with grape plantings in the Sierra Foothills/El Dorado County, as well as Sonoma County and the Central Coast.


- Once named Enotria for its abundant vineyards, Italy (thanks to the ancient Greeks and Romans) has had an enormous impact on the wine world. From the shores of Italy, the Romans brought grapes and their winemaking techniques to North Africa, Spain and Portugal, Germany, France, the Danube Valley, the Middle East and even England. Modern Italy, which didn't actually exist as a country until the 1870s, once produced mainly simple, everyday wine. It wasn't until the 1970s that Italy began the change toward quality. The 1980s showed incredible efforts and a lot of experimentation. The 1990s marked the real jump in consistent quality, including excellence in many Region that had been indistinct for ages. The entire Italian peninsula is seeing a winemaking revolution and is now one of the most exciting wine Region in the world.


Specific Appellation:


- Chianti is the most famous wine name in Italy is not the name of a grape but actually a region. Chianti lies in the 35 miles of hills between Florence and Siena, a complex geological region as well as geographically. The extraordinary geography makes grape growing a very challenging feat with multiple exposures and soil types on the same estate. The region comprises 9 different communes not dissimilar to Bordeaux wherein each commune has a particular characteristic that shows in the wine. The wine is made predominantly Sangiovese, the grape must comprise at least 80% of the blend. Chianti Classico is the "classic" region, though many other nearby regions now use the name "Chianti" to make similar wines. The "Gallo Nero" or Black Rooster on many of the Chianti Classico bottles is a private consortium of producers who try and control the direction of production and quality amongst their members.