Tenimenti Angelini has estates in Chianti Classico, Montepulciano and Montalcino.
Valentina Paolini, who does PR work for them, asked me if I'd like to taste and compare the Sangiovese-based wines from the different estates at Vinitaly. I'm glad I said yes, because there are significant differences.
We began with their latest Sangiovese-based wine, a Rosato made at the Tenuta Tre Rose in Montepulciano, which they introduced to meet the requests of people visiting the wine shop in their Montalcino estate.
Trerose Très Rosè Rosato di Toscana IGT 2009
Lively charged pink with brilliant slightly salmon reflections. The bouquet is vinous and fresh with jammy raspberry accents and lively brambles as well. Zesty. On the palate it's pleasantly full, with bright raspberry cherry fruit supported by lively sour cherry acidity and by very soft brambly tannins that flow into a clean bright berry fruit finish. Quite pleasant and will drink very well at a cookout or with summer foods. A classic summer quaffing wine that will go quickly.
And Now, The Reds
The wines from Chianti Classico - The San Leonino Estate
The vini d'annata are aged in botte, whereas the selections and Riserve are aged in barriques.
Tenimenti Angelini San Leonino Castellina in Chianti Chianti Classico DOCG 2007
Pale brick ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is fairly rich, with dusky cherry fruit supported by moderate acidity and some brambles and slight smoky underbrush; it brings to mind dappled shade on a crisp fall day. On the palate it's medium bodied, with bright slightly sour cherry fruit supported by berry fruit acidity and warmth, and by tannins that have a slight greenish burr and flow into a fairly long berry fruit finish with tannic underpinning. Direct, and a classic food wine that will work well with pasta dishes, light roasts or stews, and is one of those wines that will support without taking center stage.
Tenimenti Angelini Monsenese Chianti Classico DOCG Riserva 2005
Deep black almandine with back reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is fairly intense, and cool weather, with dusky berry fruit supported by bitterness and some leaf tobacco, and also a fair amount of underbrush. Not as sunny as the 07 and this is to be expected. On the palate it's full and quite smooth with moderately intense berry fruit supported by cedar laced acidity and by smooth sweet tannins that flow into a fairly long cedar laced finish. A nice expression of cool vintage Chianti, and though ready will also age well for at least 5 years more. The fruit works well, and doesn't rely overmuch on oak, a common problem in the 2005 vintage.
The wines from Montepulciano - The Tre rose Estate
Tenimenti Angelini Tre Rose Rosso di Montepulciano DOCG 2008
Dusky black cherry with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is very different from those of the Chianti Classico,s with mentholated berry fruit supported by slightly balsamic acidity. It's a little more old school, and also has some intriguing greenish accents. On the palate it's bright, with zesty slightly greenish berry fruit supported by bright brambly acidity and by clean vegetal laced tannins that have a slightly raspy burr and flow into a warm fairly long sour cherry finish. Pleasant in a scrappy key and will drink quite well with grilled meats or light stews, and I would be quite happy to pour it at a cookout too. It also has the capacity to age nicely for 3-5 years, though I would be tempted to drink it now to enjoy its freshness.
Tenimenti Angelini Tre Rose Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2007
Deep black almandine ruby with black rim. The bouquet is intense, and smoky, with rich jammy cherry plum fruit supported by a fair amount of cedar; there's a languid feel to it that's almost but not quite slinky. On the palate it's ample and smooth with fairly rich cherry plum fruit supported by moderate acidity and by a fair amount of minerality, while the tannins are smooth and quite sweet, though they have a bitter pencil shaving foundation to them. Pleasant in a rich smooth key, and will drink well with drier meats. It's also young, and needs another year or two for the tannins to smooth completely and fold in. Very different in character from the rosso, which is much zestier -- this is softer.
Tenimenti Angelini Tre Rose Simposio Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG 2006
This is Sangiovese in purezza (the Nobile base has a little Cabernet), and is deep garnet ruby with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is delicate, with slightly sour berry fruit supported by clean cedar and some spice. Pleasant to sniff and though ready clearly will go further. On the palate it's medium bodied and quite smooth, with full soft cherry plum fruit supported by clean sweet tannins that have a vanilla underpinning, and to be honest though the contribution of the oak is evident, I wouldn't have guessed it spent 2 years in new oak, because it has sufficient fruit to stand up to it. It will age nicely for 5-8 years more at least.
The wines from Montalcino - The Val di Suga Estate
Tenimenti Angelini Val di Suga Rosso di Montalcino DOCG 2008
Almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is muted at first swish, though further swishing brings up rather sour cherry fruit supported by heather and some savory accents, also pleasant intense spice from grapes, nutmeg and slight cloves in particular. On the palate it's full and quite smooth, with fairly rich cherry plum fruit supported by moderate acidity and smooth sweet tannins that have a languid feel to them and flow into a fairly warm dry finish. It's smoother and softer than I would have expected a Rosso to be, but is quite fresh, and I would drink it sooner rather than later to enjoy its freshness. This is made from the younger vineyards, which don't display quite as much depth as the older ones do, and it shows to a degree, because it's rather direct. And a bit of a seductive, curvy wine thanks to the softness and sweetness of the tannins. Slight peaches in the finish. Because of its softness it's a bit more particular in terms of pairings, and will work best I think with drier meats.
Tenimenti Angelini Val di Suga Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2005
Deep almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is fairly intense, with moderate berry fruit supported by dusky cedar with some balsamic accents as well. It's clearly a cool weather vintage, but seems to push harder than the 2005 Chianti Classico, and this is because of a difference in the grapes. The result is, when sniffing the two side by side, that the Chianti seems jammier, whereas the Brunello, which is also more almandine, is warmer and distinctly balsamic. On the palate it's ample and rich, with fairly intense sour cherry fruit supported by smooth sweet tannins that have some balsamic accents and slightly balsamic acidity that flow into a clean fresh rather savory balsamic finish. Pleasant, in a cool weather key, and will drink well with grilled meats or light stews.
Tenimenti Angelini Val di Suga vigna Spuntali Brunello di Montalcino 2004
Deep almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is intense, and still very young, with considerable cedar that emerges at the outset, and as it opens reveals some berry fruit as well. A babe that is at the beginning of a long path. On the palate it's rich and smooth, and more along, with fairly rich languid cherry fruit supported by smooth sweet tannins that flow into a clean fresh berry fruit finish with some tannic underpinning with white pepper spice. It's graceful, but needs another couple of years overtones get its bearings and will age very well for a decade or more thereafter.
Tenimenti Angelini Val di Suga Vigna Spuntali Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 1995
This was the first vintage of Vigna Spuntali. Almandine with paler almandine rim. The bouquet is rich, and quite mature, with warm spice and balsamic accents mingled with sea salt and spice, and as it opens dried flowers and underlying red fruit -- more plum than cherry but red -- and pleasant savory accents as well. On the palate it's full and velvety, with rich slightly sour cherry fruit supported by dusky acidity, and by velvety tannins that flow into a clean bright rather lacy finish. Beautiful wine, and one that I would be tempted to drink with like-minded friends far from the table, because I would want to concentrate on it and not on the foods. Wanting to serve it with foods, a classic Bistecca alla Fiorentina would be nice. Allowing for vintage variations, this is the direction in which the 2004 Val di Suga is headed.
If I were asked to describe the Sangiovese from the three regions with three words, I would likely select lively, soft, and austere.
The Sangiovese from the Chianti Classico estate is has a bright, lively zestiness to I that makes it a perfect companion to a wide variety of foods; within this picture the Chianti Classico D'Annata is lighter and will work better with lighter dishes, ranging from hearty soups through red-sauced pasta dishes and quickly cooked meats, especially off the grill, The Riserva is, as one might expect, a little more substantial and will work well with heartier red meats or stewed white meats, but is cut from the same cloth.
The Sangiovese from Montepulciano is a bit softer, and one has the impression that the summer is longer and hotter there than in Chianti Classico; the acidity is less marked and there is a sweeter softness to the tannins too, which are rounder and slightly more balsamic.
Finally, the Sangiovese from Montalcino is more powerful and more austere: it displays a rocky solidity, coupled with considerable intensity; the glass of 2005 Chianti Classico Riserva seemed powerful when I first sipped it, but after sipping the 2005 Brunello it seemed considerably lighter and more ductile. In terms of accompaniments, the Brunello is clearly for important occasions; it will work best with hearty roasts such as leg of lamb or roast beef or tenderloin cooked rare, and will also work well with game, or hearty elegant stews. If you like the combination of aged firm cheeses such as Parmigiano or Bitto and dry red wines, will also work very well there. Or, if you like to hold a conversation with a wine far from the meal Brunello is a fine choice, because it will capture and hold your attention.
In short, three different expressions of the same varietal, and though the wines I tasted are from three estates that are owned by the same group, the impressions can be extended in a general way to the Montalcino and Montepulciano Appellations. Chianti Classico, because of its size, is inherently more variable -- greater variety of terroirs, exposures, soil types and so on, but if one keeps this caveat in mind I think the generalization holds here too.
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