What Differentiates Tignanello Wine from Others?

A famous Italian wine from Tuscany, Antinori’s Tignanello is enjoyed by celebrities, wine asset managers, and collectors alike!

So, what is so unusual about the revered Tignanello? What are the best Tignanello wines you are supposed to get hold of? How well does it age? In this post, find out more about Tignanello wine – its roots, the grapes used in winemaking, the potential for aging, and the best vintages to be bought.

In fact, even Meghan Markle had a lifestyle blog named The Tig after this magnificent drink.

Tignanello Wine: Origin

Tignanello is a red wine from the 1970s and the maker is the reputable Italian winery Marchesi Antinori. Made mainly from Cabernet and Sangiovese wine grapes, this wine is renowned for its aromas tastes of herbs, tobacco, spice, cherry, and red fruit. It was the first Sangiovese wine produced without any Trebbiano or any other white grapes.

So now, let us dive into the vivid past of Tignanello and learn about its origin!

Tignanello Wine: Origin
By Janine C – originally posted to Flickr as 2003 Antinori Tiganello, CC BY-SA 2.0, Wikimedia

History of Tignanello Wine

In the 1960s, Marchese Piero Antinori became concerned that his Italian wines were losing their quality due to the decreasing quality of Sangiovese grapes. To make Sangiovese wine more refined, Antinori traveled to various wine regions worldwide, mainly to California (United States) and Bordeaux (France).

Inspired by the winemaking of Bordeaux, he set up the Marchese Antinori vineyard or the Tignanello vineyard – his best vineyard – for his experiments to preserve the rich cultural heritage of Italian grapes. Thanks to his friend Professor Peynaud, Marchese Antinori took some enormous risks. All of these lead to the creation of the Super Tuscan.

What Marchese Done

  • For the first time in the Chianti region, he chose not to use any white grapes ( Malvasia, Chardonnay, and Trebbiano) in a red wine blend to put down the flavor Sangiovese. The DOC status of the Chianti Classico would be reduced to mere table wine, but Piero took the chance.
  • The first vintage produced by Marchese Piero Antinori (80 percent Sangiovese grape, 15 percent Cabernet Sauvignon and 5 percent Cabernet Franc) was the first red wine to have an unconventional grape variety- Cabernet Sauvignon.
  • Piero Antinori aged the wine in fresh oak barrels (Barrique) rather than typical old oak barrels.

These developments have made Antinori’s Tignanello much more than table wine. And today it is among the most sought-after wines in Italy-both for wine lovers and wine investors!

The Antinori family has been a part of the wine business since 1385 and specializes in making a type of red wine they call Chianti Classico. Having made a name for themselves with their “Super Tuscan” and “Tignanello” wines, the winery is also known for ushering the “Super Tuscan” revolution.

The Tenuta Tignanello Estate

Located on the gently rolling hillsides between the Pesa and Greve Rivers’ valleys, the Tenuta Tignanello Estate has been possessed by the Antinori family for the last 25 generations. They have dedicated 127 hectares (nearly 40 percent) of Albrese limestone rock-covered area to vineyards.

Tignanello is the most famous vineyard in the estate, which Solaia follows.

Calcareous limestone-rich soils provide the perfect ground for the practice of viticulture for native grape varieties such as Sangiovese and non-traditional varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon.

The Tignanello and Solaia wines made in these vineyards are some of the most influential wines in the history of Italian wine.

These vineyards produce some of the most influential wines in Italian wine history, including Tignanello and Solaia.

The Tenuta Tignanello Estate
Photo from Antinori

Other Tuscan Wines from Marchese Estate

The Antinori family produces a wide variety of Tuscan blended reds in the Chianti Classico region. The plentiful limestone soils of Tuscany have an impact on the growth of many wine grapes varieties.

Chianti Classico Riserva is their most well-known Chianti Classico. This Tuscan wine aged in conical oak barrels gives it savory spice notes. It contains no white grapes and the composition is primarily of Sangiovese. Also, it contains minor amounts of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Syrah.

The Guado al Tasso wine which is from Bolgheri, Italy, is second in popularity to Chianti Classico Riserva. The appreciation for this Tuscan wine comes from its ripe red fruit flavors, mellow tannins, and black currant notes from Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot.

Tignanello Wine Grapes and Their Flavors

Tignanello wines are made up of three wide grape varieties, as you can see. Now let us take a look at the flavors that these grapes add to the wine.

Photo by Amos Bar-Zeev on Unsplash

Cabernet Franc

The Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon’s parent grape gives the wine flavors of gravel, chili, red berry fruit (strawberry and raspberry), and bell pepper.

Cabernet Sauvignon

Sauvignon Cabernet, the first non-traditional grape variety added to a Chianti wine, brings baked spices, graphite, dark fruit flavors of black currant, black cherry, and cedar to the wine.

Sangiovese

Tignanello wines exhibit the finesse, full expression, and texture of Sangiovese grapes. The 80-85 percent Sangiovese wine content gives the fruit flavors of the red berries of red plum, strawberry, cherry, and also fig.

Best Antinori Tignanello Vintages to Buy

Tignanello has a wide variety of aromatics and sour cherry flavors, but every vintage has its unique quality. We will give an overview of our favorite Tignanello vintages below.

1971

The 1971 Antinori Tignanello is a combination of 80 percent Sangiovese and 15 percent Cabernet grapes. Also, it is the first vintage from the Tignanello vineyard.

Chocolate, sweet tobacco, cedar, and vanilla are among the oak flavors the wine gets by aging in Barrique. There are hints of licorice, cigar, espresso bean, and also cassis on the nose. The wine has a smooth finish thanks to the soft tannins, and it glides across the mouth, leaving a lasting impression.

Average price of 1971 Antinori Tignanello: $430

1975

There is a small number of Antinori’s from 1975. However, the wine was so good that the winery soon ran out of the vintage. It’s now one of the most common vintages, though it is more challenging to locate than the first.

Spice aromas overtake the nose, with hints of dried earth, pipe tobacco, and also leather added by aging in small oak barrels. This wine has dark fruit notes on the palate.

This Super Tuscan wine is a boost of red fruit flavors, with grippy tannins and also medium-high acidity. Fruit hints of black cherry, blackberry, and plum are also present, along with Mediterranean herbs and a long finish.

Average price of 1975 Antinori Tignanello: $155

1977

This Tuscan wine’s taste has pure aromas of dark chocolate, sweet tobacco, cedar, and vanilla and is another fine vintage from the winemaker. In addition, fruit notes of black currant, black cherry, blueberry, and plum are all there in Cabernet Sauvignon.

Furthermore, this deep and delicious wine has developed oak and dark fruit flavors due to its aging in Barriques.

Average price of 1977 Antinori Tignanello: $678

1979

The 1979 vintage vino demonstrates maturity while remaining youthful.

With flavors of red fruit, dried flowers, mint, chocolate, vanilla, and licorice, this Italian wine exudes pure herbal tea aromas. It is an excellent wine for a lively celebration because it has a touch of mulling spice.

Average price of 1979 Antinori Tignanello: $335

1993

Another strong vintage from the maker, the 1993 vintage, has a dominant fruit and rich complexity character – ideal for a first-time Tignanello drinker.

Sangiovese brings aromas of ripe red fruit and firm tannins to the wine. The wine has a touch of Mediterranean spices, dried flowers, cherry liquor, raisins, and a touch of oak with tonic acidity. With a classic Tignanello firm acidity and a long finish, the wine offers a tangy freshness to the palate.

Average price of 1993 Antinori Tignanello: $177