The Antinori family have been producing wine in Tuscany for six centuries, and exporting it for four; that’s twenty-six generations of uninterrupted family ownership. The first recorded mention of the family dates from 1188, when they worked in the silk trade. Winemaking was added to the family’s activities in 1385, and during the sixteenth century the wines spread, along with Antinori’s reputation, to France, Flanders, Spain and North Africa. The purchase of the Tignanello estate in the mid-1800s marked the beginning of a remarkable period of expansion, and since then, through judicious acquisition of vineyards and an uncanny knack for developing iconic wines, Antinori has become Tuscany’s – arguably Italy’s – pre-eminent wine producer. Some of the wines – Badia a Passignano, Pèppoli, Tignanello and Solaia – are each the product of a single estate, while Villa Antinori and the Vin Santo are blends of selected lots from several of the family’s vineyards, including the flagship Tenuta Tignanello site.
Now one of Italy’s most recognised and celebrated fine wines, Tignanello is a blend of mostly Sangiovese with lesser parts Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc from a single vineyard in the heart of Chianti Classico. From the exceptionally warm 2017 vintage, this is a flamboyant and abundant iteration that is dark, rich and already displaying attractive openness. It is laden with complex notes of black cherry, plum, sweet spices, cedar, earth and tobacco.