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Tenuta Tignanello: an original Super Tuscan

Now spanning 26 generations, the Antinori family has been at the forefront of Italian wine for over six centuries. Of the estates that make up the Marchesi Antinori empire, our focus today is on Tenuta Tignanello, which is situated in the heart of Chianti Classico. And of the three wines produced here, two of them make up the six-bottle case on offer: one of the first original Super Tuscans, Tignanello IGT Toscana, and the Chianti Classico Riserva.

Of the 130 hectares planted to vines at Tenuta Tignanello, the two most treasured vineyards are on the same hillside, Tignanello and Solaia, at an altitude of 350-400 meters above sea level. Grape varieties grown include the indigenous Sangiovese and untraditional varieties of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc that are able to fully express the territory’s distinctive characteristics.

The Tignanello IGT Toscana is produced exclusively from the 57-hectare vineyard of the same name. It is an historically significant wine in that it was one of the first two original Super Tuscan wines to emerge (the other being Sassicaia), it was one of the first Sangiovese wines to be aged in small oak barrels, it was one of the first modern red wines to use non-traditional varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon as part of the blend and it was among the first red wines from the Chianti Classico area to be produced without the inclusion of white grapes. As a single vineyard wine, it was first produced in 1970 but was labelled Chianti Classico Riserva Vigneto Tignanello, and the blend contained 20% Canaiolo and 5% Trebbiano and Malvasia – both white grapes. In 1971, the wine was declassified to a Tuscan red table wine rather than a Chianti Classico and was called Tignanello. The 1975 vintage was the first where no white grapes made up part of the blend. The next seven years were spent continuously honing Tignanello’s composition and from 1982, it has remained the same (Sangiovese blend with a small percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc).

Tignanello is only ever produced in vintages deemed good enough and the wine was not made in 1972, 1973, 1974, 1976, 1984, 1992, and 2002. Grapes are picked by vineyard plot and varietal and kept separate for alcoholic fermentation which is carried out in conical shaped stainless-steel tanks and then racked off into small oak barrels for malolactic fermentation. Only then is each component blended and transferred to French and Hungarian oak barrels, partially new and partially second-fill, for a period of 14-16 months. Once bottled, the wine is matured for an additional year before being released.

Tignanello remains available on allocation only, but we were lucky enough to receive some additional wine which allows us to do this offer today.

The Marchese Antinori Chianti Classico Riserva has been produced since the 2011 vintage with the intention of showcasing the quality and typicity of Sangiovese from this particular part of Tuscany. Grapes are destemmed, gently pressed and the must transferred into stainless steel tanks for alcoholic fermentation to take place. The wine is left on the skins with gentle pump-overs. Following malolactic fermentation, the wine is then blended and racked off into French and Hungarian oak barriques for approximately one year. Once bottled, the wine is matured for an additional year before being released.

Tenuta Tignanello 2017 mixed case

R 4,990
per 6-bottle case

2 x bottles
Tenuta Tignanello
Tignanello 2017
Toscana IGT
96 points WA

4 x bottles
Tenuta Tignanello
Marchese Antinori 2017
Chianti Classico Riserva
92 points WA

Only 36 cases available

“The Marchesi Antinori 2017 Tignanello (made with Sangiovese and smaller parts Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc) is a dark, exuberant and inviting wine…There is a symphony of dark fruit with black cherry, plum, spice and sweet tobacco…The heat and dryness of the vintage has added to the aromatic intensity of the wine (yields were reduced by a third), but the mouthfeel is carefully crafted to maintain its softness and smoothness.”

96 points | Monica Larner for Parker’s Wine Advocate | Tasted June 2020

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“This wine…is Sangiovese with a smaller part Cabernet Sauvignon. The Marchesi Antinori 2017 Chianti Classico Riserva Marchese Antinori is a dark and sultry expression with a higher degree of evident richness and concentration in this vintage that produced smaller, more compact berries. The tannins stand out tallest here, and there is some bitterness that is more in line with my expectations of the vintage. In fact, among these new Marchesi Antinori releases from 2017, this wine most accurately reflects the hot vintage especially in terms of mouthfeel. There is a pretty menthol note on the close.”92 points | Monica Larner for Parker’s Wine Advocate | Tasted June 2020

Many thanks.

Kind regards,
Simon Crawley
Account Manager | WSET – Level 3

Food Pairing Suggestions

With Sangiovese the star of the show here, suggested dishes to pair with these two wines should be based around herby and even slightly spicy meat, mushrooms and tomato-based dishes.

Recommend dishes include the likes of lasagne, pizza, chickpea soup/stew, roast lamb/veal cooked with mushrooms, braised wild boar, Bistecca alla Fiorentina and even a good ol’ hamburger.