Tignanello

Vintage

Classification

Toscana IGT

Blend

85% Sangiovese, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc

Climate

After a rainy and fairly cold autumn and winter, spring and summer 2003 will certainly be remembered as among the hottest and driest in recent years. Thanks to the dry, mild weather in spring, budding was promising and slightly earlier than average for all varieties and the conditions were subsequently excellent for flowering and fruit setting. From June onwards throughout the summer the weather conditions were unusual with very high temperatures and absolutely no rain. As a consequence, the grapes ripened early and immediately after 15th August the earliest ripening varieties showed very high sugar levels, due to a sort of natural auto-concentration. Production quantities were slightly lower due to the lack of water, especially where emergency watering was not possible. This trend continued steadily during the harvesting period, allowing us to wait for the best moment to pick the fruit, thus avoiding risks of damage to the grapes.

Vinification

Given the weather the harvest began early, at least in part. Some of the Cabernet and Sangiovese grapes were already ripe by mid-September. The vinification process was able to adapt to the use of techniques better suited to the warm weather: due to the rich and extractable nature of the polyphenolic components, maceration took place at 25°C for a maximum of 7 days (for the Sangiovese) and 10 days (the Cabernet). For both varieties alcoholic fermentation took place in traditional wooden barrels. Extraction was carried out mainly using the pigeage technique very lightly given the fact that the polyphenolic components were easy to extract. The wines were racked with a few residual sugars and completed alcoholic fermentation in new French oak barriques. Malolactic fermentation took place spontaneously by the end of November in the same barriques. After malolactic fermentation the wines were blended and left in barriques for a further 12 months and racked in the air as necessary. When the ageing period was complete, the wine in each barrique was tasted and the necessary selections made, after which it was bottled. After another year ageing in bottles it was released for sale. 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, 1992 and 2002 vintages.

Tasting notes

Intense ruby red colour with light garnet hues. Complex and nicely harmonious aromas of tobacco, curry powder and blackberry and blackcurrant jam. A mouthfilling deliquescent sensation on the silky palate enhances the sweetness making the 2003 vintage a very stylish version of the Tignanello. A light hint of sweet, nicely rounded tannins in the finish make the wine more persistent.

Awards

"Cinque grappoli"

ASSOCIAZIONE ITALIANA SOMMELIER November 2006 "Duemilavini 2006" guide

2006 Italy

"Vino dell'Eccellenza"

ESPRESSO October 2006 I Vini d'Italia 2006

2006 Italy

Score: 90/100

FALSTAFF MAGAZINE June 2006 "Chianti Classico e Super Tuscans"

2006 Austria

"Tre Bicchieri"

GAMBERO ROSSO November 2006 "Vini d'Italia 2006" guide

2006 Italy

Score 91/100

THE WINE SPECTATOR October 2006

2006 U.S.A.

Score 92/100

WINE ADVOCATE June 2007

2007 U.S.A.

Score 91/100

WINE SPECTATOR February 2007

2007 U.S.A.