The Antinori family of Florence, one of the world’s oldest and most distinguished wine producers, has lived in Tuscany since the 14th century and celebrated its 625th anniversary as wine makers in 2010. The current company president, Marchese Piero Antinori, believes in the tradition that the primary role of wine is to accompany food and enhance the dining experience. In Florence, the Antinori family has led a “Renaissance” in Italian wine making by combining long traditions, a love of authenticity and a dynamic innovative spirit.
Tignanello is produced exclusively from the vineyard of the same name, a parcel of some 140 acres (57 hectares) with limestone-rich soils and a southwestern exposure at 1150-1325 feet (350-400 meters) above sea level at the Tignanello estate. It was the first Sangiovese wine to be aged in small oak barrels, the first modern red wine to use such non-traditional varieties as Cabernet in the blend, and among the first red wines from the Chianti Classico area to be produced without white grapes. The wine, originally called “Chianti Classico Riserva vigneto Tignanello” (a Chianti Classico Riserva from the Tignanello vineyard), was produced for the first time from a single vineyard parcel in 1970, when the blend contained 20% of Canaiolo and 5% of Trebbiano and Malvasia, both white grapes., and the wine aged in small oak barrels. In 1971 it became a Tuscan red table wine rather than a Chianti Classico, and was called Tignanello. In the 1975 vintage the percentage of white grapes was definitively eliminated from the blend. Ever since 1982, the blend has been the one currently used. Tignanello is bottled only in favorable vintages, and was not produced in 1972, 1973,1974, 1976, 1984, 1992, and 2002.
After a fall and winter characterized by mild temperatures and frequent rainfall, spring began with similar weather, which determined a slight delay first in bud break and then in the following phases of flowering and bud set. The months of Mau and June were a bit cooler than the historic averages, while July and August were quite warm and dry, but without excessively hot peak temperatures. The month of September and the first half of October, the period of the harvest, were climatically ideal – in addition to warm daytime temperatures, there were significant temperature swings from daytime warmth to evening and nighttime coolness which assisted the grapes in achieving excellent ripeness. Picking operations, generally later than in recent vintages, began during the second half of September, first with the Sangiovese around September 25th and then with the Cabernet Franc between September 29th and 30th. The Cabernet Sauvignon, finally, was harvested between October 5th and 15th under perfect climatic conditions for the quality of the fruit.
James Suckling – 97/100
Wine Spectator – 94/100
Antonio Galloni – 95+/100
Gambero Rosso – 3 bicchieri
Daniele Cernilli – 94/100