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Speaker: Allegra Antinori

This was always going to be a popular masterclass, and the Drawing Room of the Landmark Hotel was filled with expectant faces within minutes of the doors opening. The first flight showed the reverential audience just how good Antinori’s white wine (Cervaro della Sala) can be – even with age the wines were showing beautifully.

Then came the big guns. Tignanello has a lot to live up to, and the SuperTuscan delivered – in spades. There was a lot of whispered debate as to the best wine on display here, but a show of hands at the end of the masterclass sealed the affair. The 1999 topped the audience’s list – closely followed by my favourite, the 2001. The Tuscan IGT also inspired Allegra Antinori to sing the praises of the land, lauding the quality of Tuscany’s food, wine and culture.

‘I drink wine every night,’ she said. ‘Even by myself –not because I’m desperate, but to get a sense of it, to have the instinct working more than the brain when tasting.’

Then the trio of two Montepulcianos and the Chianti Classico rounded off a superlative tasting, and reminded attendees just how great the 2001 vintage was in Italy.

‘Sometimes it’s good to invite a friend over when I open a bottle,’ said Antinori. ‘I like to have memories of a tasting.’ Quite.

Wines: Cervaro della Sala, Umbria IGT 1999

Cervaro della Sala, Umbria IGT 2001

Cervaro della Sala, Umbria IGT 2004

Cervaro della Sala, Umbria IGT 2006

Tignanello, Toscana IGT 1997

Tignanello, Toscana IGT 1999

Tignanello, Toscana IGT 2000

Tignanello, Toscana IGT 2001

Tignanello, Toscana IGT 2005

Santa Pia, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG, Tenuta La Braccesca 2001

Badia a Passignano, Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG, Tenuta Badia a Passignano 2001

Pian delle Vigne, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tenuta Pian delle Vigne 2001

The Great Italian Decanter Fine Wine Encounter 2008

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