Marchesi Antinori, Tignanello

Marchesi Antinori, Tignanello, 2015

  • icon-type Type

    Red

  • icon-year Year

    2015

  • icon-style Style

    Dry

  • icon-country Country

    Italy

  • icon-alcohollevel Alcohol level

    14%

  • icon-grapevariety Grape variety
    Sangiovese 80%, Cabernet Sauvignon 15%, Cabernet Franc 5%
  • Rating

    JS 98, RP 96, WS 97

The climate of the 2015 vintage was an extremely regular one and respected, in its various phases and seasons, the typical weather of the Chianti Classico production zone. A cold and relatively dry winter preceded a spring characterised by damp weather in March and April and dry weather in May and June. In this period, temperatures were regular, guaranteeing a perfect growth of vegetation and an excellent phase of flowering and bud set for the grapes. The summer was a warm one, with peak temperatures in July, but also with highly positive temperature swings from daytime warmth to evening and nighttime coolness which assured a constant growth of the grape bunches free of stress. The month of August, warm as well, was characterised by occasional rainfall which favoured a fine onset to the ripening of the crop. The picking took place between mid-September and early October in a climate of dry and breezy weather.

The 2015 Tignanello is a very intense ruby red in colour. On the nose, the notes of ripe red fruit, together with cassis and blackberries, are in perfect balance with the hints of chocolate and liquorice. The palate is rich, ample, and vibrant and is endowed with lively and silky tannins which give a great complexity and an important length to the finish and aftertaste.

About Marchesi Antinori

Marchesi Antinori is an Italian wine company that can trace its history back to 1385. They are one of the biggest wine companies in Italy, and their innovations played a large part in the "Super-Tuscan" revolution of the 1970s. Antinori is a member of the Primum Familiae Vini and the 10th oldest family owned company in the world.

Estates:

  • Tignanello - is a 47 hectare vineyard acquired in 1900 and gives its name to Antinori's most famous wine, designated a Vino da Tavola since the mid-1970s and IGT Toscana since the early 1990s. Since 1982, Tignanello has been made from 85% Sangiovese, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc. The vineyard lies at 1150–1312 feet above sea level, within the Santa Cristina estate (also known as Tenuta Tignanello).
  • Solaia - 'The sunny one' is a 10 hectare vineyard adjacent to Tignanello in the Mercatale Val di Pesa zone of Chianti Classico. The eponymous wine was released in 1978 as an 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Cabernet Franc blend, although that has now evolved to a mix of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc, 20% Sangiovese. Like Tignanello, fruit not used for the grand vin goes into Antinori's Chianti Classico Riserva, Tenute del Marchese and the IGT Villa Antinori (60% Sangiovese, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot and 5% Syrah).
  • Pèppoli Estate - Close to Tignanello, 55ha of the 100ha of the Peppoli estate are planted with vines. The slopes face northeast, but the unique microclimate of the valley produces a fruity Pèppoli Chianti Classico and contributes to Marchese Antinori.
  • Badia a Passignano - The Antinoris bought the 325 hectare estate around the historic Vallombrosian abbey in 1987, including the right to use the abbey's cellars. Fifty hectares are planted with Sangiovese from Tignanello which provides the grapes for another Chianti Classico DOCG Riserva, Badia a Passignano. Piero Antinori regards this as his testbed for the ultimate expression of Sangiovese in Tuscany. Some grapes go into Marchese Antinori.
  • Guado al Tasso - A massive estate of 900 hectares in the Bolgheri bowl, 60 miles SW of Florence, at just 150–200 feet above sea level. A third of it is planted with vines, mostly Sangiovese, Cabernet, Merlot and Syrah, grapes here ripen two weeks before the Chianti holdings. The best known wines are Guado al Tasso, the Scalabrone rose, Il Bruciato and Vermentino. Matarocchio is a lesser-known and rarer expression of 100% Cabernet Franc.
  • La Braccesca estate - Vino Nobile di Montepulciano La Braccesca, Vigneto Santa Pia, Sabazio, and the Bramasole and Achelo Syrahs.
  • Pian delle Vigne Estate - Sixty hectares of vineyard in a 186 hectare estate bought in 1995, which provides their Brunello di Montalcino.
  • Fattoria Aldobrandesca - Aleatico comes from this Etruscan vineyard near Sovana in Southern Tuscany.
  • Monteloro Estate - North of Florence, supplies the white wines Villa Antinori Bianco and Capsula Viola.
  • Castello della Sala - 500 hectare estate with 160 hectares of vineyard producing Orvieto Classico, Campogrande and Casasole, a Pinot Nero, the Chardonnay-based Cervaro della Sala, and the Sauvignon Blanc-based sweet Muffato della Sala.
  • Antica Napa Valley - Antinori's wine estate in Napa, California. Produces Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Sangiovese, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, and Cabernet Franc on 600 planted acres in Atlas Peak AVA.
Grape variety
Cabernet Franc

Cabernet Franc is one of the major black grape varieties worldwide. It is principally grown for blending with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot in the Bordeaux style, but can also be vinified alone, as in the Loire's Chinon. In addition to being used in blends and produced as a varietal in Canada and the United States, it is sometimes made into ice wine in those regions.

Cabernet Franc is lighter than Cabernet Sauvignon, making a bright pale red wine that contributes finesse and lends a peppery perfume to blends with more robust grapes. Depending on the growing region and style of wine, additional aromas can include tobacco, raspberry, bell pepper, cassis, and violets.

Records of Cabernet Franc in Bordeaux go back to the end of the 18th century, although it was planted in Loire long before that time. DNA analysis indicates that Cabernet Franc is one of two parents of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Carménère.

Cabernet Franc shares many of the same phenolic and aroma compounds as Cabernet Sauvignon but with some noticeable differences. Cabernet Franc tends to be more lightly pigmented and produces wines with the same level of intensity and richness. Cabernet Franc tends to have a more pronounced perfume with notes of raspberries, blackcurrants, violets and graphite. It is often characterised by a green, vegetal strike that can range from leaves to green bell peppers. It has slightly less tannins than Cabernet Sauvignon and tends to produce a wine with a smoother mouthfeel. New World examples of Cabernet Franc tend to emphasise the fruit more and may delay harvesting the grapes to try to minimise the green leafy notes.

Alternative Names: Bordo, Bouchet, Bouchy, Breton, Cabernet Franco, Cabernet Frank

Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the world's most widely recognised red wine grape varieties. It is grown in nearly every major wine producing country among a diverse spectrum of climates from Canada's Okanagan Valley to Lebanon's Beqaa Valley. Cabernet Sauvignon became internationally recognised through its prominence in Bordeaux wines where it is often blended with Merlot and Cabernet Franc. From France and Spain, the grape spread across Europe and to the New World where it found new homes in places like California's Santa Cruz Mountains, Paso Robles, Napa Valley, New Zealand's Hawkes Bay, South Africa's Stellenbosch region, Australia's Margaret River and Coonawarra regions, and Chile's Maipo Valley and Colchagua. For most of the 20th century, it was the world's most widely planted premium red wine grape until it was surpassed by Merlot in the 1990. However, by 2015, Cabernet Sauvignon had once again become the most widely planted wine grape.

Despite its prominence in the industry, the grape is a relatively new variety, the product of a chance crossing between Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc during the 17th century in southwestern France. Its popularity is often attributed to its ease of cultivation - the grapes have thick skins and the vines a re hardy and naturally low yielding, budding late to avoid frost and resistant to viticultural hazards such as rot and insects - and to its consistent presentation of structure and flavours which express the typical character ("typicity") of the variety. Familiarity and ease of pronunciation have helped to sell Cabernet Sauvignon wines to consumers, even when from unfamiliar wine regions.

The classic profile of Cabernet Sauvignon tends to be full-bodied wines with high tannins and noticeable acidity that contributes to the wine's aging potential. In cooler climates, Cabernet Sauvignon tends to produce wines with blackcurrant notes that can be accompanied by green bell pepper notes, mint and cedar which will all become more pronounced as the wine ages. In more moderate climates the blackcurrant notes are often seen with black cherry and black olive notes while in very hot climates the currant flavours can veer towards the over-ripe and "jammy" side. In parts of Australia, particularly the Coonawarra wine region of South Australia, Cabernet Sauvignon wines tend to have a characteristic eucalyptus or menthol notes.

The style of Cabernet Sauvignon is strongly influenced by the ripeness of the grapes at harvest. When more on the unripe side, the grapes are high in pyrazines and will exhibit pronounced green bell peppers and vegetal flavours. When harvested overripe the wines can taste jammy and may have aromas of stewed blackcurrants. Some winemakers choose to harvest their grapes at different ripeness levels in order to incorporate these different elements and potentially add some layer of complexity to the wine. When Cabernet Sauvignon is young, the wines typically exhibit strong fruit flavours of black cherries and plum. The aroma of blackcurrants is one of the most distinctive and characteristic element of Cabernet Sauvignon that is present in virtually every style of the wine across the globe. Styles from various regions and producers may also have aromas of eucalyptus, mint and tobacco. As the wines age they can sometimes develop aromas associated with cedar, cigar boxes and pencil shavings. In general New World examples have more pronounced fruity notes while Old World wines can be more austere with heightened earthy notes.

Alternative Names: Bidure, Bouche, Bordo, Bouchet, Burdeos Tinto, Lafite, Vidure

Sangiovese

Sangiovese is a red Italian wine grape variety that derives its name from the Latin sanguis Jovis, "the blood of Jupiter". Though it is the grape of most of central Italy from Romagna down to Tuscany, Campania and Sicily, outside Italy it is most famous as the only component of Brunello di Montalcino and Rosso di Montalcino and the main component of the blends Chianti, Carmignano, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and Morellino di Scansano, although it can also be used to make varietal wines such as Sangiovese di Romagna and the modern "Super Tuscan" wines like Tignanello.

Sangiovese was already well known by the 16th century. Recent DNA profiling by José Vouillamoz of the Istituto Agrario di San Michele all’Adige suggests that Sangiovese's ancestors are Ciliegiolo and Calabrese Montenuovo. The former is well known as an ancient variety in Tuscany, the latter is an almost-extinct relic from the Calabria, the toe of Italy. At least fourteen Sangiovese clones exist, of which Brunello is one of the best regarded. An attempt to classify the clones into Sangiovese grosso (including Brunello) and Sangiovese piccolo families has gained little evidential support.

Young Sangiovese has fresh fruity flavours of strawberry and a little spiciness, but it readily takes on oaky, even tarry, flavours when aged in barrels. While not as aromatic as other red wine varieties such as Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah, Sangiovese often has a flavour profile of sour red cherries with earthy aromas and tea leaf notes. Wines made from Sangiovese usually have medium-plus tannins and high acidity.

The high acidity and light body characteristics of the Sangiovese grape can present a problem for winemaking. The grape also lacks some of the colour-creating phenolic compounds known as acylated anthocyanins. Modern winemakers have devised many techniques trying to find ways to add body and texture to Sangiovese - ranging from using grapes that come from extremely low yielding vines, to adjusting the temperature and length of fermentation and employing extensive oak treatment. One historical technique is the blending of other grape varieties with Sangiovese, in order to complement its attractive qualities and fill in the gaps of some of its weaker points. The Sangiovese-based wines of Chianti have a long tradition of liberally employed blending partners—such as Canaiolo, Ciliegiolo, Mammolo, Colorino and even the white wine grapes like Trebbiano and Malvasia. Since the late 20th century, Bordeaux grapes, most notably Cabernet Sauvignon, have been a favoured blending partner though in many Italian DOC/DOCG regions there is often a maximum limit on the amount of other varietals that can be blended with Sangiovese; in Chianti the limit for Cabernet is 15%.

Other techniques used to improve the quality of Sangiovese include extending the maceration period from 7–12 days to 3–4 weeks to give the must more time to leach vital phenols out of the grape skins. Transferring the wine during fermentation into new oak barrels for malolactic fermentation gives greater polymerisation of the tannins and contributes to a softer, rounder mouthfeel. Additionally, Sangiovese has shown itself to be a "sponge" for soaking up sweet vanilla and other oak compounds from the barrel. For aging the wine, some modern producers will utilize new French oak barrels but there is a tradition of using large, used oak botti barrels that hold five to six hectolitres of wine. Some traditional producers still use the old chestnut barrels in their cellars.

Alternative Names: Nielluccio, Sangioveto, Sangiovese Grosso, Sangiovese Piccolo, Brunello, Prugnolo Gentile, Morellino

About Toscana IGT

Toscana IGT is the most famous – and the most commonly used – of Italy's Indicazione Geografica Tipica (IGT) titles. The geographical region it indicates is, in short, Tuscany. Toscana IGT wines can be made in any village in any of Tuscany's 10 provinces (Arezzo, Firenze, Grosseto, Livorno, Lucca, Massa Carrara, Pisa, Pistoia, Prato and Siena).

Free from the stylistic constraints imposed on DOCG and DOC wines, Toscana IGT wines can be made in almost every form imaginable, from bone-dry whites to sweet reds and sparkling rosés. Naturally, given Tuscany's longstanding success with dry red wine, this style is by far the most common.

Tuscany is the home of Italy's most famous IGT category not just because it produces more IGT wine than any other region, but also because it was the famous 'Super Tuscan' wines made here that led to the creation of the category.

When the Italian DOC system was introduced in the 1960s, it proved less efficient than the French system on which it was modelled, and it was certainly less well-received. Many Italian wine producers found the new rules too restrictive and openly criticised the system. A number of these, most notably in Tuscany, chose to continue making their wines as they saw fit, focusing on quality and individuality rather than conforming to their local DOC laws. The price of this freedom was having to label their wines as Vino da Tavola ('table wine'), the lowest tier in Italy's wine classification system.

During the late 1960s, a number of these rebel producers began making modern-styled wines of very high quality – which later became known as the 'Super Tuscans'. These soon gained international acclaim and respect and began increasing dramatically in price. The result was that some of Italy's very finest and most respected wines were being labelled and sold as Vino di Tavola. In 1984, one of the most famous Super Tuscans – Sassicaia – was granted its very own DOC title, DOC Bolgheri Sassicaia, but further measures were required to address the other wines.

To bring a degree of balance to the situation, in 1992 the Italian government introduced a new wine classification category: Indicazione Geografica Tipica (IGT). This has successfully introduced a mid-ground between the highly regulated DOCG and DOC classifications and the lowly, unregulated Vino di Tavola one. IGT wines are created with the bare minimum of restrictions required to ensure quality wine production: they bear a vintage statement and producer name, they must be made from at least 85% of the grape variety, and the region of origin must be stated on the label. Almost every other restriction placed on IGT wine production falls back to generic regulations in force for all wines made within the EU.

The IGT category is used only in Italy; its equivalent in France is VDP (Vin de Pays). At a European Union-wide level, these two correspond to IGP (Indication Géographique Protégée / Indicazione Geografica Protetta).

The range and diversity of IGT wines continue to expand and evolve in the early 21st Century. The category has freed Italian wine producers from the constraints of tradition, allowing them to produce wines for the modern palate and – arguably more important – for global export markets.

Regular price $892.00

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