2005 Antinori Chianti Classico Peppoli

($25) Light ruby. Simple, fresh, extremely juicy strawberry-dominated aroma offers considerable appeal. Fresh, sweet and penetrating, with good shape and definition to its pure redcurrant, strawberry and red cherry flavors. Seamless tannins ensure that this goes down like water. An uncomplicated, juicy, fruit-driven wine with a fairly short finish; this would make an ideal restaurant house red.

87

2003 Antinori Chianti Classico Riserva Tenute Marchese

($31) Dark ruby. Warm-weather aromas of cherries macerated in alcohol, red berry syrup and prune on the initially obvious nose, then nicely complicated by cinnamon, clove and bay leaf. Rich, ripe and deep, with considerable weight to the overripe fruit and mocha flavors. Finishes with noticeable, mounting tannins.

88

2004 Antinori Villa Antinori Toscana Rosso

($23; mainly sangiovese, with small amounts of merlot, cabernet sauvignon and syrah) Medium saturated ruby. Exaggerated nose shows almost liqueur-like raspberry and black cherry aromas, along with cinnamon and musky roasted coffee highlights. More overripe cherry flavor on the palate, complicated by a whiff of smoke and grilled bacon. The rich chocolate and coffee finishing flavors display only medium length. A pleasant wine with features more typical of the 2003 vintage.

87

2004 Antinori Tignanello

($79; a blend of sangiovese, cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc) Medium dark ruby. Captivating nose redolent of pretty red and black fruits, black pepper and graphite, with complicating suggestions of tobacco and prune. Very fresh and buoyant on entry, with pure flavors of ripe fruit and black pepper, then long and extremely fresh on the back end. Here one can find evidence of all three varieties. Silky tannins, noteworthy definition and impeccable balance make this one of the best young Tignanellos in recent memory.

2004 Antinori Solaia

($170; cabernet sauvignon, sangiovese and cabernet franc) Very saturated dark ruby, almost black. Intense bell pepper slaps you across the face, with aromas of dark cherry, cigar box and underbrush following. Dense, highly concentrated and intensely flavored, with harmonious acidity framing the sweet black fruit and black pepper flavors, and little of the bell pepper character showing on the palate. Finishes long, with very silky tannins. But the green pepper aroma is neither typical nor endearing in what is usually one of Italy's greatest wines. Perhaps I have caught this at an awkward stage. . (Chateau Ste. Michelle Estates, Woodinville, WA)

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