Anybody who is truly passionate about Italian wine will be aware of Tignanello and the reputation that it has for being one of the greatest wines currently on the market. It has received plenty of acclaim on the domestic level, however on the international level it is also raved about in many quarters and the more recent vintages have been the recipients of a variety of different awards that truly highlight the level of quality that the Antinori family have achieved with their famed ‘Super Tuscan’.
Before we take a look at some of the awards that the drink has won in recent years, it is a good idea to take a look at the wine itself and why it achieved such a level of notoriety fairly quickly, despite having only been on the market since the 1970s.
The Story of Tignanello
The Antinori family is one of the most storied in Italian winemakers and they can trace their personal history in viniculture and the industry as a whole all the way back to the 14th century. Because of this, they had achieved a high level of fame for the quality of their wines years before the introduction of Tignanello.
Chianti is probably the wine that the producer was most known for and anybody who is familiar with Hollywood villain Hannibal Lector will be aware that Chianti is one of the most beloved varieties of red wine in the world, as his famous grisly speech indicated. The Antinori family were not simply content to rest on their laurels when it came to the revered drink though, and in 1971 they sparked a revolution by introducing a range of new techniques to the production of their Chianti that truly shook the Italian wine industry to its core.
1971 was the year that Tignanello was introduced to the world. Often credited as being the first of the famed ‘Super Tuscans’, the drink was actually preceded by Sassicaia. However, it is most certainly the drink that popularised the movement and allowed it to gain the momentum that it would need to revolutionize the industry as a whole.
The unique blend used in its creation meant that it was ineligible for the Chianti Classico designation from the DOC, however its sheer quality soon outweighed the complaints of the traditionalists who were unhappy with the modern techniques and altered blends used in its creation. It quickly became one of the most beloved wines in Italy and it very quickly began to gain an international reputation, even without the seal of approval from the DOC.
All of this led to the eventual change in regulations that allowed it to be classified by the DOC. Today there is now a distinct difference between the classic Chiantis and the new breed of Super Tuscans, and Tignanello is credited with playing an enormous part in ensuring that the new techniques used by the likes of the Antinori family and those like them can continue to be utilised to create amazing Italian red wines.
As mentioned, the drink has garnered plenty of international acclaim and has been the recipient of a wide variety of awards that mark it out for its quality and substance. In recent years it has received the following awards:
Drinks International Magazine – Most Admired Wine Brand 2014
A 2014 editions of Drinks International Magazine put out a list of the most admired wine brands on an international level, with Tignanello managing to achieve a top five finish in the list.
Placing fourth overall, despite the fact that it has far less history behind it than many of the other wine brands to appear on the list, it was judged by a jury of 200 wine industry professionals, including retailers, consultants and a range of analysts. It was the top rated Italian wine brand on the list and was judged on the following criteria:
- Relationship with the territory of origin
- Quality of the wine
- How the wine meets the needs of the current target audience
- The packaging and presentation of the wine
- Its popularity amongst consumers.
The next nearest Italian brand of wine is a full 36 places below Tignanello on the list, which just goes to show the level of esteem that the wine has achieved after only 45 years on the market.
The Wine Advocate – 94 Points
The Wine Advocate rated the 2009 vintage with a score of 94 points out of a possible hundred, and complimented the wine on its quality and smoothness. The magazine had the following to say about the drink: “The 2009 Tignanello is quite beautiful. Cedar, graphite, sweet herbs, licorice and leather add complexity to a core of highly expressive red fruits. The 2009 impresses for its energy, drive and focus. Today, the 2009 comes across as slightly understated relative to many recent vintages, especially 2007 and 2008. There is a silkiness and polish that is reminiscent of the 2004.”
The 2009 vintage wasn’t alone though. The wine is regularly given marks in the 90+ region from The Wine Advocate, who make it their business to try as many wines as possible so that consumes have the most level-headed opinions of which are the ones for them. This sort of consistency is rare to find and again spotlights the fact that the Antinori family got to great pains to ensure that the wine is enjoyed by all.
These are just two of the accolades received by Tignanello and there are many more besides that show just how respected the drink has become in the international wine community. Though it caused plenty of controversy upon its introduction in the 1970s, it has quickly risen above this and is now favoured by many lovers of Italian red wine for it high quality, stunning aromas and innovative taste. The wine is truly the modern day pride of the Antinori family and with very good reason. It sparked a revolution in production methods that demonstrated that the Italian wine industry has much more to offer than simply tradition.