2014 Tignanello Antinori Review And Tasting Notes
Do you need a reason to open a bottle of Tignanello, the king of all Super Tuscans?
Actually, no, it’s not the wine to cellar for your son’s graduation. It is undeniable: it’s a revolutionary wine that re-evaluated Tuscany, founded the concept of Supertuscan, broke centuries-old bonds, and at the same time conquered the American market.
But sadly, it has become a reasonably stylized wine. For obvious commercial reasons, it sat on its laurels, contenting itself with a winning formula, replicable as a brand, as an icon. And there is nothing wrong with that.
After all, it is a pleasant wine, very structured with jam, spices, and wood at will, not a lot of pulp, but we have plenty of extract.
So, where is the problem?
And mind you, we have no prejudice. On the contrary, we are honest, and we tasted a Tignanello 2008 a few months ago, and it was smooth as an iced tea. It had lost all the toasted hysteria imposed by the barrique and had found a way to express itself without too much redundancy.
The problem is that it is not a shining example of Sangiovese. One interprets it as one certainly wants, but if this predictability limits the expressive potential of this incredible grape variety, the wine loses its charisma because, as a blend, it is still an 85% Sangiovese with a 10% of Cabernet Sauvignon and a 5% of Cabernet Franc.
Sangiovese is juicy pulp, austerity, flesh, sanguine, wild, and subtle: it flies like a butterfly and stings like a bee. On the other hand, the Tignanello is a strong heavyweight with cotton candy gloves.
Are we sure that this concentrated Bordeaux treatment, with muscular fruit and soft tannins, applies to Sangiovese?
Sales say yes.
The work in the vineyard starts from assumptions of great rigor. The search for the concentration and quality of the grapes is spasmodic: few clusters per plant, perfect exposure of the vineyards, and height between 350 and 400 meters. Particular soils boast a mixture of marl, limestone, and clays. In short, everything has been designed to make these vineyards work well.
In the cellar, it ferments, then off in barriques for malolactic fermentation, then rests for 12-14 months in new and used wood.
But let’s get back to starting. The reason for uncorking this wine was that we were waiting for this 2014 Tignanello Antinori at the gate, and do you know why?
Because it was a fatal and not very expressive year for almost the entire Italian territory, yet Tignanello 2014 made it. It came out unscathed from the massacre of rains, molds, and mists.
But was it worth it to make this wine?
Yes, because the gloomy conditions have slowed down the ripening and preserved acidity in the grapes, making Tignanello 2014 atypical for its standards.
It immediately gives you a good punch in the face with an acid charge that we had never felt in this bottle.
The aromas are also more earthy and less jammy. On the fruity side, it offers a sharper and less pumped profile without falling on the classic material development that is too convoluted. The wood is still perceived as too much, but being 2014, it is not a big problem. Within 4-5 years, it will dispose of the excess vanilla and tobacco.
On the palate, it shows an almost mentholated vivacity. The freshness dictates a good rhythm, giving smoothness and finesse to the wine. The tannins are dense and credible in earthy development, opening up in forest, roots, and rhubarb flavors.
We liked it because it is the first Tignanello that tastes Sangiovese and a little Supertuscan.
One hundred euros: the price is always the same. It is useless to discuss it: Tignanello is a high-profile wine that sells like crazy but is a bit high.