This wine brought to mind precise imagery of tailcoats, striped dress pants, wingtip collar shirts and other gentlemen's fashion choices from the Roaring Twenties. Sporting a retro but classic personality, the Marchesi Antinori 2018 Tignanello is quite the dapper and jovial wine that hits the market just as much of the world is emerging from a dark chapter of lockdowns and coronavirus curfews. I love the optimism that springs bright with such clarity and detail from within this blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. The 2016 vintage was a benchmark for sure, but I prefer the 2018, thanks to that tinge of nostalgia or emotion that is so deftly rendered in this cool, long growing season.
The 2018 vintage offers a deconstructed Tignanello upon first inspection because you can clearly make out the varietal typicity of the grapes, especially the green spice and white pepper of the two Cabernets, along with aromas of crushed limestone that recall the white rocks carefully placed in the vineyards to protect the rows. The wine's fruit weight is contained and polished, and there are no exaggerations, excesses or loose ends. The results are calculated and exacting, especially if you consider the tannic management (with aging in both new and used Hungarian and French oak for up to 16 months) and the quality of the elegant mouthfeel. With time in the glass, those deconstructed elements converge to create unity and balance. The Tignanello vineyard is 57 hectares and sits at a breezy 390 meters above sea level with alberese and galestro soils. Those elevations proved important for shedding excess humidity at the end of this 2018 growing season. Production for this excellent wine is an impressive 345,000 bottles.
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