Benchmark: (noun) – A standard or point of reference against which things may be compared or assessed.
Employing hyperbole is a useful writing skill. Soaring, even bombastic praise is often employed when critics or aficionados review wines that exceed their expectations. Many times it is just that; hyperbole. Waxing poetic to make one’s point. I’m certainly not casting stones. I’ve been guilty of it as well on occasion. Some may even say I’m doing it now, but to that I offer the following rebuttal: This time, it’s different. This time the words used are justified. Not in the way people describe things as being “literally awesome” or “extremely historic” or “very unique”. This time, it’s deserved.
The origins for the creation of Tignanello can be debated to a certain extent. Originally produced as a “Chianti Classico Riserva, Vigneto Tignanello” in 1970 the wine included the requisite amount of white grapes in the blend. In 1971, the Chianti Classico designation was removed, but it wasn’t until 1975 that the white grapes were removed and the blend became the Super Tuscan we know today.
Tignanello is unique. It was the first Chianti wine and Sangiovese to be aged in barrique. The first Chianti wine to be blended with non-native varietals such as Cabernet and the first Chianti wine to be produced without the inferior white grapes in the blend. And when you look around at all the “Super Tuscans” that permeate the landscape of wine retailers across the globe you realize that yes, Tignanello is historic.
The 2009 Antinori Tignanello reflects this pedigree proudly. A blend of 80% Sangiovese, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc, the wine is a deep almost blackish red color at the tender age of 7 years.
The aromas have developed wonderful complexity an feature tobacco laden chestnut, crushed cherry, worn leather, and fruit cake spices. On the palate, the ripeness of this vintages is well represented but well complimented by a laser like streak of refreshing acidity. The full body of the velvety red fruit sits on your palate while swirls of mocha, cured meat and porcini mingle playfully. This is delicious now, with a long, soft fruit driven finish, but there is no hurry to drink these. I sense further complexity will emerge with 3-5 more years in the cellar. 94 points. About $50 upon release. Current vintages average $70-$85 show shop around.
August 15, 2016