2008 Antinori Tignanello IGT

Year: 2008
Appellation: Tuscany
Country: Italy
Wine Spectator: 92
Wine Advocate: 94
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 13.5%
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"A sleek, perfumed red, showing floral, black currant and cherry flavors, with a hint of vanilla. The oak is well-integrated, with a fresh finish. Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2014 through 2024. 8,000 cases imported." (WS)

"The 2008 Tignanello is unquestionably one of the wines of the vintage. The 2008 isn’t a huge or obvious Tignanello, rather it is a wine that impresses for its sublime elegance and precision. Understated layers of fruit caress the palate like cashmere in this impeccable, soft wine. There is not a hard edge to be found. Black cherries, tobacco, smoke and licorice are some of the notes that come through on the finish. The flavor profile is decidedly on the dark side, but the wine’s structure is medium in body and intensity. In 2008 the Tignanello has more energy, focus and length than the Solaia. It is a fabulous achievement! The 2008 Tignanello is 80% Sangiovese aged in 300-liter French oak barrels (1/3rd new), 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc, both aged in 100% new 225-liter French oak barriques. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2024.

Antinori seems to do everything well these days, from churning out millions of bottles of supermarket wines all the way to turning out superb versions of their many flagship bottlings. This is another impressive set of new releases with a number of highlights. Over the years oenologist Renzo Cotarella has moved away from the super-late harvests of the late 1990s/early 2000s in favor of picking slightly earlier, a decision that has paid off handsomely, especially over the last few years. Antinori’s 2008s, from a vintage that is quite inconsistent across the board, are superb. I remember spending a few days near the estate’s Tignanello and Badia a Passignano estates in mid-August 2008. The days were very hot, but the nights were so cool that a sweater or light jacket was a necessity." (WA)

Winery Notes:
Tignanello covers 350 hectares of land, 147 of which are planted with vineyards, These are divided into small plots: the Tignanello vineyard covers 47 hectares with the 10-hectare Solaia alongside. These lands derive from Pliocene marl, with shaly, chalky elements, and are situated at an altitude of 350-450m, enjoying warm days and cool nights during the growing phase.

The native Sangiovese variety and the non-native Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc varieties are planted at Tignanello. There is also a small quantity of white grapes - Malvasia and Trebbiano - used in the production of Vinsanto. Other non-native varieties grown at Tignanello include small quantities of Syrah, Pinot Nero and Merlot, planted experimentally in the Seventies.

Antinori initially experimented with Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc in the Twenties, but these varieties were then abandoned during the Second World War; they were replanted in the Sixties and began to be used commercially in the Seventies. The grapes are picked in about three weeks, between the end of September and early October and crushed and fermented on the estate. Afterwards the wine is aged in the old cellars below Villa Tignanello.