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Tignanello 2017

Studies show that 85% of family businesses don’t make it past the second generation.  The venerable house of Antinori has been making wine in Tuscany and its environs since 1385 – that’s 26 generations of continuous operation in the same family.  The company is now run by Marchese Piero Antinori and his three daughters.  The various plots and estates that operate under the Antinori name make not just a multiplicity of dry reds and whites but also Vin Santo, Franciacorta (the Italian ‘Champagne’), Grappa, olive oil and vinegar. 
 
However, the winery’s most acclaimed bottling is its iconic Super Tuscan, Tignanello.   Antinori was one of the creators of the Super Tuscan style in the early 70s and Tignanello was one of the first Super Tuscans (Sassicaia is credited with being first, Tignanello second).  Super Tuscans contain or blend in non-indigenous varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and Cabernet Franc that previously had not been in allowed in a region historically centered on Sangiovese. The origin of the term is unknown but it may have been coined by American sommeliers in the 80s.   
 
Tignanello is typically 80% Sangiovese, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc and is only made in good vintages.  Intensely ruby red in color, the 2017 is remarkably complex, as always.  Notes of ripe red fruits such as sour cherries, raspberries and plums complement delicate spicy aromas of clove, licorice, balsamic notes, mint and chocolate.  On the palate it is rich, mouth-filling and vibrant with supple velvety tannins.  Its lengthy finish revives the aromatic notes of the nose.
 
Somehow, Tignanello remains a real bargain compared with other first rank Super Tuscans like Sassicaia or Ornellaia which command more than twice the price, not to mention classified growth Bordeaux with which it can be compared.  Tignanello often shows well in its youth and with decanting will drink well now, but starting in 2022 and for the decades further it will be in prime drinking form.
 
Antinori Tignanello 2017
Shelf Price $129.99

Sale Price $119.97
 
Wine Advocate, 96 pts - "The Marchesi Antinori 2017 Tignanello (made with Sangiovese and smaller parts Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc) is a dark, exuberant and inviting wine. I tasted my sample after a double decanting and was pleased by the profound nature of the wine and the immediate openness of the aromas. There is a symphony of dark fruit with black cherry, plum, spice and sweet tobacco. I am particularly attracted by a distant hint of medicinal or menthol herb that I also discovered in other wines with fruit from the Tignanello estate in 2017. There's a drying mineral note of crushed chalk as well. The heat and dryness of the vintage has added to the aromatic intensity of the wine (yields were reduced by a third), but the mouthfeel is carefully crafted to maintain its softness and smoothness. Fruit comes from a 57-hectare section of the Tenuta Tignanello from a vineyard that is located 390 meters above sea level with Alberese limestone rock and soils of marine origin. The wine is fermented in conical oak tanks and is aged up to 16 months in a combination of mostly French and some Hungarian oak, both new and neutral." 06/20.
 
Vinous, 95 pts. - "The 2017 Tignanello is dense, exotic and flamboyant. Red berry fruit, cherries in liqueur, blood orange, wild flowers and sweet spice are front and center in this sumptuous, racy Tignanello that is likely to drink beautifully right out of the gate. The Antinori team has done a terrific job with the 2017, a year in which heat and dry weather took with them 30% of the production." 07/19.

 

Past Cellar Selections:
Domaine Lapierre - The Original Natural Winemaker
Muga ‘Selección Especial’ 2015 – Classic Rioja
Domaine A. et P. de Villaine – Budget DRC?
Three Oderros: for the Picnic Table, the Dinner Table and the Cellar
Castilla Ygay 2010 – at 98 pts a ‘First Growth’ Rioja
Chateau Troplong Mondot St. Emilion 2017 – 98pts!
More Great Brunello from 2015 – 99pts Casanova di Neri
100 Points for Fuligni Brunello di Montalcino 2015
Ramirez Gran Reserva Rioja 2010 – Budget Addition to the Cellar
Burgundy with age from Jean Chauvenet
Altesino Brunello di Montalcino 2015 – 95 points
Macan 2014 by Vega Sicilia and Benjamin de Rothschild
Cornas and Côtes-du-Rhone from Franck Balthazar
Penfolds RWT Shiraz 2017 – #9 WS top 100
Quintessa 2016 – 98pt Bordeaux Blend from Napa
Viña Almaviva 2016 – #10 on Wine Spectator top 100
Maison Leroy Bourgogne 2017 – $90 for a Bourgogne Blanc? . . . Maybe Yes
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