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Antinori Tignanello Sangiovese Cabernet

Cracka Rating

Cracka Review

We love pioneers here at Cracka, and Pierro Antinori is one of the best. His Tiganello was one of the original "Super Tuscans". Dubbed "super" by the American critics because he broke all the rules to make the best wine he could, no conforming to the strict DOC laws of Chianti.

Winemaker's Notes

CLASSIFICATION

Toscana IGT

BLEND

80% Sangiovese, 5% Cabernet Franc, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon

CLIMATE

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.

VINIFICATION

The climate of the growing season required an intense and careful selection of the grapes both in the vineyard and in the cellars. This rigorous selection assisted in giving an additional quality level to the grapes to be used for Tignanello which, already exceptional in terms of both their typicality and personality, regularly give wines of outstanding character and structure. Extreme care was given to the freshness of the aromas and to the extraction of color and tannins aimed at the maximum suppleness and elegance during the period of fermentation and skin contact in conical fermenting tanks. Once the wine was run off its skins, it was put through a complete malolactic fermentation in oak barrels in order to heighten to the maximum degree the finesse and the fragrance of the aromas. The twelve to fourteen months aging period then began and took place in French and Hungarian oak barrels, partly new and partly used once previously. During this phase, the various lots, fermented variety by variety, completed the aging process and were then assembled to create the finished wine just a few months before bottling.

HISTORICAL DATA

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.

TASTING NOTES

An intense ruby red in color with purple highlights, the 2013 Tignanello shows a nose of great red fruit intensity along with highly pleasurable notes of vanilla, chocolate, and leather from the well balanced contribution and fusion of the aromas of the oak. The spicy and balsamic sensations which give additional complexity are also quite important. The wine is ample and enveloping on the palate with supple tannins and a savory freshness which fully respects the character and personality of the Sangiovese grape. The balance between acidity and tannins is excellent, and the finish and aftertaste are of a lovely length and persistence.

Alc/Vol: 13.5%

expert reviews about

Antinori Tignanello Sangiovese Cabernet

Expert Reviews

Mike Bennie (2013 Vintage) says
Tignanello came out in the 1970s and caused quite a shock. It proved there were wines possible of a different standing from Italy, that bucked the system and broke moulds. The general idea was to make super-premium without losing sangiovese character, Tuscan character or Italian character. It has been shaped from generally 80% sangiovese 15% cabernet sauvignon and 5% cabernet franc. Antinori say they are now using more and more Hungarian oak these days. They believe the wood is very high quality and fine grained and lends itself to the wine style and fruit. Half wood is new and half is one year old. It’s interesting to hear Antinori speak so seriously about terroir, sense of Tuscany and distillation of vineyard, yet still use so much oak influence. Hand of winemaker of course is part of terroir, but I’ve often felt vineyard clarity isn’t to be found readily in this wine, yet that’s the rationale and intent it seems. Conundrum. Anyway, this is a great release and dialled back, more refined, finessed. Dark brooding berry fruit character, resinous-clovey oak, choc-vanilla, sage leaf, fennel, leather, cumin and cardamom – beautiful young bouquet. Very sinewy in the palate, firm with wood and fruit taninn, succulent and puckering from front to very long back. Firm wine of intense inward concentration. Takes off like a luxury sports car and stays trim and sleek. Structure to the fore. Impressive now, but time will serve it oh so well.
The Wine Front
96
James Suckling (2013 Vintage) says
This is amazing on the nose with blackberry, black truffle, dried cherry and hints of tobacco. So complex on the nose. Almost no need to taste it. Full body, soft and velvety tannins, and a persistent, fabulous finish. The mouthfeel is magic. 80% sangiovese and 20% cabernet sauvignon.
jamessucking.com
97

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