Antinori Tignanello 2018
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 Tignanello is a wine of breathtaking purity. Impossibly silky and persistent, the 2018 is all class, all the way. In many ways, the 2018 reminds me of the 2004 because of its finesse , but it has an extra degree of nuance that reflects important strides that have been made at the estate in the intervening years. Winemaking today is more gentle, while new oak is also less intrusive. The result is a Tignanello that bristles with class. The purity of the flavors alone is mesmerizing. Bright red-toned berries, mocha, spice, cedar, new leather and licorice are some of the many notes that linger on a finish framed by silky, perfectly ripe tannins. Aging was 16 months in oak, about 50% new. One of the recent developments at Antinori has been a move towards lower toast levels and a preference for longer aging of the raw wood. The blend is a very typical 80% Sangiovese, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc, with maybe just a touch more Franc than is the norm. At the same time, the Sangiovese is very much front and center. Production hovers around 330,000 bottles. Think about that number. It is more than any Bordeaux First Growth, more than any high-end Napa Valley wine, and equivalent to the production of 60 or so cult Cabernets taken together! Tignanello, in my view, is the single greatest high quality, estate wine made in scale.
"This is so aromatic with flowers, such as cherry blossoms and roses, together with currants and blackberries. A medium-bodied Tignanello with very fine tannins and depth. Racy and very, very long finish. Pure and refined. Lots of blue fruit. Tight at the end, but showing a sophisticated and reserved style. Very refined. Drinkable now, but will age nicely. (4/6/21)"
A bright, fruity style, combining black cherry, black currant and earth flavors. It's backed by light tannins that leave a dusty, cocoa feel. Mineral and tobacco accents add depth on the finish. Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2023 through 2038. 5,000 cases imported.