Antinori’s 2013 Tignanello may be a major sign that the world of fine wine is changing. As one of the world’s most famous wines, it now checks in at 13.5% alcohol and focuses on elegance and balance rather than…

Antinori’s 2013 Tignanello may be a major sign that the world of fine wine is changing. As one of the world’s most famous wines, it now checks in at 13.5% alcohol and focuses on elegance and balance rather than richness and oak. ‘The 2013 Tignanello represents the beginning of a new chapter for Italy’s ultimate game-changer wine,’ writes Monica Larner of the Wine Advocate.

Ironically, it was Robert Parker who praised the hefty, oak-driven styles of the late 90s and 2000s that led the world-wide movement towards the riper, sweeter and ultimately less classic, terroir-driven style. Previous vintages of Tignanello, such as the 2007, were far riper and more alcoholic and their tasting notes were dotted with terms like ‘thickness’, ‘warmth’, ‘honey’, and ‘sweetness’.

The 2013 is beautifully cool, pure and fine and requires another few years to show its Super-Tuscan brilliance. It also happens to be the highest-rated Tignanello ever with 96 points from Wine Advocate and 94 points from Wine Spectator.

Tignanello is arguably Italy’s most famous wine. It was the first Sangiovese to be aged in barrique, the first red wine to be blended with non-traditional varieties like Cabernet, and one of the first Chianti reds that did not use white grapes. Tignanello is produced exclusively from the vineyard of the same name – a 57ha parcel with limestone-rich soils and a south-western exposure at 350 – 400 meters above sea level.

The wine, originally called ‘Chianti Classico Riserva vigneto Tignanello’, was produced from a single vineyard for the first time in 1970. Back then the blend contained 20% Canaiolo and 5% Trebbiano and Malvasia. In 1971, it became a Tuscan table wine rather than a Chianti Classico and was renamed Tignanello. The 2013 is a Toscana IGT classification and is 80% Sangiovese15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc.

Tasting notes:

Antinori, Tignanello 2013 – R 1,495 
The 2013 Tignanello represents the beginning of a new chapter for Italy’s ultimate game-changer wine. The blend remains 80% Sangiovese with 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc but Renzo Cotarella tells me ‘stylistically-speaking, this is what we wanted to achieve’. The winemaking formula remains the same, but one of the major differences and benefits to this wine is vineyard age. The celebrated Tignanello single vineyard is now reaching 15 years old. In other words, it is in its production prime. This is a harmonious and beautifully integrated wine that reveals black fruit and baking spice. I’m told the 2014 Tignanello will have a greater percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon and the 2015 vintage will have more Sangiovese. – Wine Advocate, 96/100

Aromas of graphite, smoke and tobacco introduce the cherry flavour in this expressive, focused red. Firm tannins and lively acidity balance the fruit and purity, while herbal, spice and mineral elements all gather steam as this plays out on the long finish. Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2017 through 2027. – Wine Spectator, 94/100

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