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 rd 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 white grapes were totally 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.
Together with the Marquis Mario Incisa della Rocchetta, Antinori developed the so-called “Super Tuscan” category of wines. Antinori’s revolutionary vino de tavola, the Tignanello Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon blend first saw the light of day in 1974.
–Blending laws were outdated and didn’t do a thing toward maximising or reforming wine quality. Even though we found ourselves between a rock and a hard place, we still had the courage to launch the Tignanello as a table wine instead of a Chianti Classico. We started wine production tests already in 1970 and, after receiving encouraging feedback from international export market experts and our Florentine partners, we finally went ahead and launched the wine. Actually, my father had already tested Cabernet Sauvignon on the Tignanello plot in the 1930s, with promising results. For us, the Tignanello is a very important and emotionally-loaded wine, the symbol of a new age, Piero Antinori recalls.
Tignanello, originally a Chianti Classico Riserva labeled Vigneto Tignanello, was first vinified as a single vineyard wine in the 1970 vintage, when it contained 75% Sangiovese, 20% Canaiolo and 5% Trebbiano and Malvasia, and was aged in small oak barrels. With the 1971 vintage the wine became a Vino da Tavola della Toscana and was named Tignanello after the large vineyard (47 hectares) 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, Blanc grapes were totally eliminated. Since the 1982 vintage, the blend has been 80% Sangiovese, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc.
The Antinori family has been making wine for over six hundred years, since Giovanni di Piero Antinor became part of the Arte Fiorentina dei Vinattieri in 1385. Throughout its long history, spanning 26 generations, the family has always personally managed the business making innovative, sometimes courageous choices, always with unwavering respect for tradition and the land.
Marchese Piero Antinori, 25th generation president of the company, is a firm believer in the cerebral Burgundian concept of terrior, instead of lieu-dit—the idea that the combination of different elements in one highly specific site—primarily soil, exposure, elevation, climate and grape variety, clone, and cultivation – make a wine what it is.
If one could sum up Antinori’s philosophy in a sentence it would be, according to Marchese Piero Antinori, "Age-old roots play an important role in our philosophy, but they have not served to inhibit our innovative spirit." In fact, Antinori continually experiments in its vineyards and at its wineries.
Soil: calcareous rocky-marl and limestone
Production area: 47 ha
Grape varieties: 85% Sangiovese, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc
Ageing: for 12 months in barriques and another year ageing in the bottles
Marchesi Antinori Srl
Piazza Antinori, 3 - 50123 Firenze - Italy
tel +39 055 23 595 - fax +39 055 2359877