The fall and winter of 2010 in Chianti Classico were characterized by prevalently cold and rainy weather, while the early months of 2011, instead, were dry and early spring was mild. The warm weather of early April led to a precocious bud burst, approximately ten days ahead of schedule compared to normal seasonal averages. The growth and development of the vegetation continued to be favored by mild temperatures and little rainfall; the cool climate of July brought the phases of the growing back into line. The vines, however, suffered from the heat wave of August and September. The harvest began during the middle third of September with the picking of the Merlot between September 12th and September 20th. During this period the Sangiovese and the Syrah completed their ripening and were then picked during the last week of the month. A careful selection of the bunches was of vital importance for all of the individual grape varieties. Grapes of excellent potential were fermented and, from the very start, yielded musts rich in color, with excellent aromas and varietal character, essential aspects for the production of high quality wines.
The grapes were destemmed and given a soft pressing. The fermentation began very rapidly, with the yeasts usefully going to work almost immediately and assisting in creating wines rich in aroma. Skin contact lasted twelve days, and soft extraction techniques – pumping over and moistening the cap of skins in the tanks – gave colored wines with supple tannins. Temperatures were held to a maximum of 86° Fahrenheit (30° centigrade). The young wines were divided into separate lots and kept in oak until the blending of the finished wine in the spring of 2013; 60% of the aging took place in casks and the rest in small French and Hungarian oak barrels, for the most part already used. The 2011 Villa Antinori Chianti Classico Riserva was bottled, in the Antinori Chianti Classico cellars at Bargino near Florence in July of 2013.
With the opening of the new Chianti Classico cellars, the Antinori family wished to render homage to an historic label and to a wine with a long-standing tradition: the Villa Rosso Chianti Classico Riserva. The first vintage was the 1928 and, up until the year 2000, it represented, over time, the Antinori concept of a Chianti Classico Riserva.
In 2010, the Villa Rosso Chianti Classico Riserva returned once again to the years of its youth and, in 2011, to its home.
The 2011 Villa Rosso Chianti Classico DOCG Riserva, an intense ruby red in color, features an equally intense nose of red fruit, raspberries, and blueberries, followed by hints of oak and spices, particularly cloves, on the aromatic finish. On the palate, the wine is immediately vibrant and very territorial in character. The tannins are supple but well present. The finish and aftertaste are fruity and the light notes of oak long and lingering.