The Tenuta Tignanello estate is in the heart of Chianti Classico, in the gently rolling hillsides between the Greve and Pesa river valleys. It extends over an area of 319 hectares (788 acres), of which about 130 (321 acres) are dedicated to vines.Two of the estate’s prized vineyards are on the same hillside, Tignanello and Solaia, on soils that originated from marine marlstone from the Pliocene period rich in limestone and schist. The vines enjoy hot temperatures during the day and cooler evenings throughout the growing season. The estate’s two signature wines, Solaia and Tignanello, are produced from these vineyards and have been defined by the international press as “among the most influential wines in the history of Italian viticulture”.
The current 16th century manor house was built on the foundations of an estate that dates back to 1346 when the property belonged to the Buondelmonti’s, a noble family that owned a great part of the land in Valle della Pesa. In the seventeenth century, a cadet branch of the Medici family took possession of the estate and named it Fonte dei Medici. In the mid 1800’s the Antinori family acquired the estate.
‘’This wine brought to mind precise imagery of tailcoats, striped dress pants, wingtip collar shirts and other gentlemen’s fashion choices from the Roaring Twenties. Sporting a retro but classic personality, the Marchesi Antinori 2018 Tignanello is quite the dapper and jovial wine that hits the market just as much of the world is emerging from a dark chapter of lockdowns and coronavirus curfews. I love the optimism that springs bright with such clarity and detail from within this blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. The 2016 vintage was a benchmark for sure, but I prefer the 2018, thanks to that tinge of nostalgia or emotion that is so deftly rendered in this cool, long growing season. The 2018 vintage offers a deconstructed Tignanello upon first inspection because you can clearly make out the varietal typicity of the grapes, especially the green spice and white pepper of the two Cabernets, along with aromas of crushed limestone that recall the white rocks carefully placed in the vineyards to protect the rows. The wine’s fruit weight is contained and polished, and there are no exaggerations, excesses or loose ends. The results are calculated and exacting, especially if you consider the tannic management (with aging in both new and used Hungarian and French oak for up to 16 months) and the quality of the elegant mouthfeel. With time in the glass, those deconstructed elements converge to create unity and balance. The Tignanello vineyard is 57 hectares and sits at a breezy 390 meters above sea level with alberese and galestro soils. Those elevations proved important for shedding excess humidity at the end of this 2018 growing season. 98 points | Monica Larner for Wine Advocate