Friday, May 12, 2006

2004 Antinori Santa Cristina

Antinori Santa Cristina is billed as an "everyday" wine, but has both stood the test of time in terms of keeping a consistent high-quality taste and also remained a low-price value, despite the consistently positive reviews that would normally nudge up the cost. I first discovered Santa Cristina in the late '90s while studying in Rome. This was a good time to drink "table wine" from Tuscany as 1997 was an amazing year in Chianti, which is home to Santa Cristina.

The wine shares many qualities with a young Chianti, as it's a Sangiovese. It's a dry wine. But it has some nice subtle complexities of tannins and dark, dark fruit. It doesn't need to open up too much, which is to be expected. At under $10, it's a steal with pastas, pizza or a good party red, although it does better with food. I'd give it a 87-89 depending on the vintage. Drink it now as this wine doesn't need to be cellared.

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