Marchesi Antinori Tignanello Toscana IGT 2021 (Tuscany, Italy) - [WA 98] [VM 98]
Marchesi Antinori Tignanello Toscana IGT 2021 (Tuscany, Italy) - [WA 98] [VM 98]
Marchesi Antinori Tignanello Toscana IGT 2021 (Tuscany, Italy) - [WA 98] [VM 98]

Marchesi Antinori Tignanello Toscana IGT 2021
(Tuscany, Italy) - [WA 98] [VM 98]

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About this Wine:
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 feets (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 red 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 percentage of white grapes was definitively 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.

Estate Grown, Toscana IGT

Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc 

Vintage:
The 2021 vintage from Chianti Classico will be remembered for a long slow-paced season: a vintage that promises power and finesse. Temperatures during the winter months were not excessively cold and were accompanied by rain showers that lasted up until the end of March. The beginning of spring triggered early bud break, but cool, dry weather in April slowed down the vines’ vegetative cycle. May and June followed normal weather patterns, not too hot, with scattered precipitation that guaranteed excellent flowering and fruit set of all grape varieties in Tenuta Tignanello’s vineyards. Overall, summer was hot and dry, especially during August but towards the end of the month, occasional rainfall provided ideal conditions for the vines to begin the ripening phase. September and October were picture perfect: sunny skies, no heat spikes, refreshing breezes and cool nighttime temperatures that allowed the grapes to gradually progress to peak ripeness. Overall, the 2021 vintage is considered to be one of the best vintages ever. Harvesting operations began during the last half of September for Sangiovese and were completed October 20th with Cabernet.

Vinification:
This growing season’s climate trends challenged us to be focused and diligent both in the vineyards during harvesting activities and when grapes were brought to the cellar where sorting operations and initial winemaking processes were essential to achieve optimal results. During fermentation in truncated conical tanks, each individual must was macerated on the skins giving particular emphasis to preserving aromas, extracting color, and encouraging desirable tannins that were supple and elegant. Racking was performed after rigorous daily sampling and tasting. Once separated from the skins, the wine was transferred into small oak barrels where it underwent malolactic fermentation to accentuate aromatic finesse and complexity. Aging took place in French oak barrels and a small percentage in Hungarian oak, predominantly new barrels, for a total period of approximately 15 months: after an initial period of aging the lots separately, they were blended then completed barrel aging. Tignanello, crafted mainly with Sangiovese and a small percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, underwent an additional 12-month period of aging in the bottle before being released.

Tasting Notes:
Tignanello 2021 is rubyred with intense purple hues. The nose is complex: notes of ripe plums, blackberries and candied orange peels lead to pleasant hints of dark chocolate, caramel, and licorice. Sweet hints of tobacco complete the impressive bouquet. The palate is rich, sophisticated, intense and is defined by supple vibrant tannins followed by a long persistent finish.

Ratings & Reviews

98 Points - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate:
"First made in 1971, this legendary Italian wine now celebrates its 50th birthday. Happy Birthday, Tignanello! The Marchesi Antinori 2021 Tignanello (made with 79% Sangiovese, 13% Cabernet Sauvignon and 8% Cabernet Franc) pulls on all the heartstrings. To be released in May, the wine shows a quintessentially pretty taste profile with tart fruit flavors, redcurrant, tea leaf, heritage rose, crushed white pepper, licorice, nutmeg, clove and chopped mint. It opens slowly to reveal more richness and exuberance with time, becoming downright voluptuous and heady a short while later. The through line, however, remains the bright freshness and minerality of Sangiovese. Compared to the 2018 vintage (which I also loved), this vintage has more overall fruit weight and volume.

Marchesi Antinori General Manager Renzo Cotarella tells me that 2021 is the best vintage he has ever overseen. Ever. He prefers it to recent classics like 2016 and 2010. There was frost in the spring, and the growing cycle was very long. This is something that most grapes, and especially Sangiovese, need in order to exhibit aromatic depth and flavor complexity. "This is an exceptional year," he says, citing the inner energy certainly exhibited by the wines from 2021.

I agree, mostly, but not unequivocally. I love the precision and tension inherent to these wines, but I didn't encounter that same breathless vertical lift and linearity that I remember so well in 2016, for example. That was a vintage that managed to effortlessly balance both power and elegance, which is by no means an easy feat. To me, 2021 has the elegance but not the same piercing power that you only get in cooler vintages when sugar and phenolic ripening line up seamlessly. So, while I love these wines, especially the Chianti Classico Riserva Marchese Antinori and the outstanding Tignanello, my money is still on 2016 as the better vintage, speaking generally. But zoom in on one wine and my money is on the 2021 Tignanello over everything else." (Mar 2024)

98 Points - Vinous Media:
"The 2021 Tignanello is every bit as impressive from bottle as it was from barrel and then just after bottling. Silky and polished, with exceptional finesse, the 2021 has all the pedigree to become a modern benchmark for Tignanello and Italian wine more broadly. Bright dark red fruit, blood orange, spice, cedar and sweet pipe tobacco all soar out of the glass, framed by a discreet touch of French oak that adds raciness. In some vintages, the elements are discernible. In 2021, it is the total harmony of the wine that makes the strongest and deepest impression. The 2021 spent 17 months in wood, three months in neutral oak during the malolactic fermentation and then 14 months (50% new) for the rest of its aging. Superb. (Drink between 2027-2051)" - Antonio Galloni (Feb 2024)