|Grapes||Sangiovese, Cab Franc, Cab Sauv|
This wine brought to mind precise imagery of tailcoats, striped dress pants, wingtip collar shirts and other gentlemen's fashion choices from the Roaring Twenties. Sporting a retro but classic personality, the Marchesi Antinori 2018 Tignanello is quite the dapper and jovial wine that hits the market just as much of the world is emerging from a dark chapter of lockdowns and coronavirus curfews. I love the optimism that springs bright with such clarity and detail from within this blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. The 2016 vintage was a benchmark for sure, but I prefer the 2018, thanks to that tinge of nostalgia or emotion that is so deftly rendered in this cool, long growing season. The 2018 vintage offers a deconstructed Tignanello upon first inspection because you can clearly make out the varietal typicity of the grapes, especially the green spice and white pepper of the two Cabernets, along with aromas of crushed limestone that recall the white rocks carefully placed in the vineyards to protect the rows. The wine's fruit weight is contained and polished, and there are no exaggerations, excesses or loose ends. The results are calculated and exacting, especially if you consider the tannic management (with aging in both new and used Hungarian and French oak for up to 16 months) and the quality of the elegant mouthfeel. With time in the glass, those deconstructed elements converge to create unity and balance. The Tignanello vineyard is 57 hectares and sits at a breezy 390 meters above sea level with alberese and galestro soils. Those elevations proved important for shedding excess humidity at the end of this 2018 growing season. Production for this excellent wine is an impressive 345,000 bottles. Drinking range: 2023 - 2045 Rating: 98 Monica Larner, The Wine Advocate (www.robertparker.com) (May 2021)
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The 2018 Tignanello is a wine of breathtaking purity. Impossibly silky and persistent, the 2018 is all class, all the way. In many ways, the 2018 reminds me of the 2004 because of its finesse , but it has an extra degree of nuance that reflects important strides that have been made at the estate in the intervening years. Winemaking today is more gentle, while new oak is also less intrusive. The result is a Tignanello that bristles with class. The purity of the flavors alone is mesmerizing. Bright red-toned berries, mocha, spice, cedar, new leather and licorice are some of the many notes that linger on a finish framed by silky, perfectly ripe tannins. Aging was 16 months in oak, about 50% new. One of the recent developments at Antinori has been a move towards lower toast levels and a preference for longer aging of the raw wood. The blend is a very typical 80% Sangiovese, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc, with maybe just a touch more Franc than is the norm. At the same time, the Sangiovese is very much front and center. Production hovers around 330,000 bottles. Think about that number. It is more than any Bordeaux First Growth, more than any high-end Napa Valley wine, and equivalent to the production of 60 or so cult Cabernets taken together! Tignanello, in my view, is the single greatest high quality, estate wine made in scale. Drinking range: 2028 - 2043 Rating: 97 Antonio Galloni, www.vinous.com (Feb 2021)
The Antinori family has been making wine for over six hundred years, since Giovanni di Piero Antinori became part of the Arte Fiorentina dei Vinattieri in 1385. Throughout their long history, spanning 26 generations, the family has always personally managed the business making innovative, sometimes courageous choices, always with unwavering respect for tradition and the land. They are also considered producers of 'Super Tuscan' wines. Today Marchese Piero Antinori is director of the company, assisted by his three daughters, Albiera, Allegra and Alessia. Tenuta Tignanello, with its famous Tignanello and Solaia vineyards, is situated between the Greve and Pesa valleys in the heart of Chianti Classico exactly between the little villages of Monteridolfi and Santa Maria a Macerata, 30km south of Florence.
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