The Wines of Antonelli



Antonellli was one of the first producers of Sagrantino I became familiar with. The wines of the mid 1990’s offered glimpses of a refinement in style and management of tannin that seemed to make them good candidates for ageing, so I stuck a few in the cellar each year.

With a relatively short history bottling their own wines, though they’ve been doing it since 1979 which makes them firmly middle aged around here, the style of Antonelli was a bit of a moving target over the years, and perhaps remains so.

Not that any major sea change is under way here, though the style is continually being tweaked to improve accessibility while preserving the purity of the fruit and the expression of terroir.
Antonelli is another fairly large producer with some 40 hectares (about 125 acres) under vine.  Another producer who has moved to tonneaux for the barrel ageing, Antonelli rotates through a quarter of their barrels each giving them a consistent 25% new wood with every vintage.

2000 Montefalco Rosso
Produced from 70% Sangiovese, 15% Sagrantino and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot – Moderately aromatic with notes of pressed flowers, dried cherry and hints of toast, smoke and mineral. In the mouth this has rich dried cherry fruit in a hard, crisp style that’s a touch short at this point. The finish reveals spicy and floral hints but this is quite young. 88pts

2001 Sagrantino di Montefalco
Fairly closed on the nose and only reveling hints of perfume and cocoa. On the palate this is very well balanced with good intensity of flavor though this remains a bit hard. With air this begins to open up, particularly on the finish, which reveals some nice, fresh fruit and deep hints of earth and spice. 91pts

1998 Sagrantino di Montefalco
Quite expressive with gamy notes and wild berry fruits edged in tea, earth, and dried meats notes. Massively rich and deep on the palate with a huge core of chocolaty fruit and hints of over-ripeness in the flavors, which lean towards the dried end of the spectrum, chocolate covered dried cherries. The tannins are floating just beneath the fruit and break through on the finish. This should prove to be a great wine with time. 93pts

1995 Sagrantino di Montefalco
Lovely and bright on the nose with a leathery quality, gentle spice, and emerging autumnal tones that recall tea. This develops some complex and savory tones recalling salt, spice and juniper and shows signs of early maturity. On the palate the tannins are definitely integrating and the mid-palate is developing a smoothness as the tannins begin to recede into the earthy, red fruits and even begin to show a hint of the sweetness of age. The finish is moderately long with lovely spice tones. A complete and almost mature Sagrantino! 92pts

1985 Sagrantino di Montefalco
On the nose this is showing signs of age but at the same time it’s loosing some typicity. There are layers of smoke, tea, and dried cranberries, with nuanced notes of smoked green chilies and dried mushroom. On entry this is bright with the roundness of bottle age though the tannins are still present. The tannins and fruit are fading in harmony here and the acid is beginning to take over structural duties, though this does turn a bit loose on the mushroomy finish. This really does have a nice mature feel but the flavors seem to be evolving at least as fast as the tannins, perhaps faster. 88pts

1985 Passito di Sagrantino
Dusty on the nose with a slightly medicinal top note and deep notes of licorice, dried flowers, chamomile, toasted anise seed, and raisins. This remains quite sweet with fresh acids and still youthful tannins. The sweetness up front supports cola, coriander and spice tones but not much actual fruit, though it also ensures good length. Not sure there is any need to age Passitio this long. 86pts

Did you miss the first articles in this series?

Find them here.

Part One: Arrival and Montalcino

Part Two: Getting settled in Greve

Part Three: Tasting Chianti

Part Four: The Hill Top Village of Montepulciano

Part Five: The Wines of Montepulciano



Part Six: Traveling in Umbria

Part Seven: The Sagrantino of Montefalco - Adanti



Part Eight: Orvieto

Mentioned in this article


  • We are planning an 8 day motorcycle trip starting in Florence, Italy this coming May 22, 2010. We will be traveling with 5 other couples and hope you can recommend some interesting rides/vitners we should see. We want to drive only on scenic side roads and travel through Tuscany and beyond. We would ride 3-5 hours a day. Any unique lodging suggestions?
    Neil Breton

    Dec 22, 2009 at 2:18 PM

  • Snooth User: pvfman
    155596 3

    By far the best Sangratino I have had is the Tila Sacreterre. If anyone knows where I can buy some more (besides Umbria) please let me know.

    Dec 22, 2009 at 4:10 PM

  • Snooth User: Slimjim
    172208 1

    So far none of the wine you have listed are sold anywhere I can find.

    Dec 22, 2009 at 6:57 PM

  • Snooth User: Mawin
    331990 4

    I love wine

    Dec 22, 2009 at 7:03 PM

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