The 1970s were a bad time for Tuscan wines. After reigning as one of Italy’s most prominent wines, the Chiantis which put the region on the map were lagging behind international varieties. While the Chianti giants slept fitfully in the nearby vineyards, winemaker Piero Antinori was hard at work drafting a manifesto for Tuscany’s wine revolution.
In 1971, the revolution started.
Tignanello is a rebel child born at the end of the hippie movement. It was a response to the increasingly “blah” humdrum of Tuscany’s traditional wines. It’s an amalgamation of Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon with a tad of Cabernet Franc. The red wine’s rich notes of dark fruits, spice, and tobacco was an instant hit with consumers and sommeliers encouraged to see something good finally come out of Tuscany. Within a few short years of Tignanello’s release, the Tuscan countryside exploded with countless new permutations of the “Super Tuscan” revolution Tignanello set into motion.
Since its revolutionary release Tignanello has become one of Italy’s most popular wines. Meghan Markle has done her fair share of spreading it’s fame after it was revealed Tignanello is her favorite wine.
And it’s a good thing Meghan was recently inducted into the Royal Family, since a good Tignanello boasts a royal price tag starting at around $100.
Tignanello is usually a blend of 80% Sangiovese, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 5% Cabernet Franc. Approximately 25,000-27,000 cases of Tignanello are produced each year, making this one of Italy’s rarer wines and one of the top 1% wines in the word. Tignanello is oak-aged for at least 16 months, and is grown exclusively in the Tignanello vineyard in the heart of Chianti Classico.
- Red fruits
What should I eat with Tignanello?
Tignanello pairs great with beef, lamb, veal, cured meats, and poultry. It’s made in the style of Tuscan reds, and sports a hefty alcohol content of 14%.
A homegrown rebel
Tignanello was born of an ancient tradition and a changing industry. Piero Antinori, a keeper of the ancient Tuscany tradition of wines, noticed something was missing in the wines coming from his family’s cellar. Antinori wasn’t alone. Many in the Tuscan wine community were questioning the quality of Tuscan wines, which were falling short at international wine competitions.
Antinori made a pilgrimage to the world’s best wine regions to make sense of what was wrong with Tuscany’s faltering wine industry. When he returned home, he was horrified at the state of Tuscany’s vineyards as compared to what he saw abroad. He was convinced the region must innovate or die. In 1971, Antinori parted from 26 generations of winemakers, and Tignanello was born. Ironically, Tignanello (the wine that may have saved Tuscany) was the first wine produced in the Chianti region not allowed to be labeled as such.
Tignenello was given a seat at the kid’s table early on, as failing brands of Chianti occupied the fast-emptying table of Tuscany Greats. However, as “Super Tuscany” wines grew in acclaim, a new designation was created specifically for them, welcoming them into the family.
Now you can enjoy this rare yet fairly priced “Super Tuscany” at your next high-profile event. Or you can keep the whole thing to yourself. We won’t blame you.
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