Tignanello

Vintage

Classification

Toscana IGT

Blend

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

Climate

The latter part of winter and the beginining of spring were very mild for the time of the year and also very dry. This produced early budding - some 10 days earlier than average. In April the temperature suddenly dropped, causing an arrest in the growth of the buds. The summer was very hot and sunny and this weather continued for the whole of September and for the duration of the harvest which meant that at the time of picking, the grapes were exceptionally healthy and with a high sugar concentration. Overall the 1997 harvest has been somewhat less than expected in terms of quantity - but in terms of quality, this is an exceptional vintage, probably even better than the much acclaimed 1990 vintage and one of the greatest of the last fifty years.

Vinification

The Tignanello vineyard is among the last to be harvested, and only painstakingly selected grapes are used in this eponymous wine. The Cabernets were harvested from September 20 and the Sangiovese a week later. The grapes were vinified separately and new methods were used, which guarantee a very gentle processing. Maceration took place in 50 hectoliter open wooden fermentors with periodic cap submersion for better extraction of colour, complexity and tannins. During this time (15 days for the Sangiovese and 20 days for the Cabernets), the wine completed its alcoholic fermentation at a temperature never exceeding 30°C. The wine was then transferred into 225 liter French oak barrels (new and one-year- old Troncais and Alliers), where malolactic fermentation was terminated by the year's end. The wines were then racked, blended and returned to the barriques for about 14 months of aging, after which time they were bottled and aged for a further 12 months before release.
Alcohol : 13,5% Vol.

Historical data

The original Super-Tuscan, Tignanello is produced exclusively from the Tignanello vineyard, a 47 hectares (116 acres) southwest-facing, calcareous rocky-marl and limestone soil plot with tufaceous elements, planted between 1,150 and 1,312 feet above sea level at Antinori's Tignanello Estate. It was the first Sangiovese to be aged in small oak barrels, the first red wine in modern times to use a non-traditional grape variety, Cabernet, in the blend, and among the first red wines made in Chianti with no white grapes. In all three instances, it set the example for a new breed of exceptional top-of-the-line Italian wine.
Tignanello, originally a Chianti Classico Riserva labeled Vigneto Tignanello, was first vinified as a single vineyard wine in the 1970 vintage, when it contained 20% Canaiolo and 5% Trebbiano and Malvasia, and was aged in small oak cooperage. With the 1971 vintage the wine became a Vino da Tavola della Toscana and was named Tignanello after the vineyard from which it originates. Beginning with this vintage, Tignanello stopped adhering to the rules laid down by Chianti Classico Disciplinare, and with the 1975 vintage, white grapes were totally eliminated. Since the 1982 vintage, the blend has been 80% Sangiovese, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc. Tignanello was not produced in the 1972, 1973, 1974, 1976, 1984 and 1992 vintages.

Tasting notes

Intensely fruity and complex on the nose, full-bodied, rich and complex in the mouth with exceptional structure and a lengthy finish.

Awards

"Cinque grappoli"

ASSOCIAZIONE ITALIANA SOMMELIER Oct. 2000 "Duemilavini 2001" Guide

2000 Italy

93/100 score

THE WINE ADVOCATE Feb. 2000 Robert Parker

2000 U.S.A.

Score: 95/100

THE WINE NEWS April/May 2004

2004 U.S.A.

95/100 score

THE WINE SPECTATOR June 2000

2000 U.S.A.