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It was once regarded as a renegade wine and today Antinori Tignanello or Tig, as it’s often affectionately named, is still seen as the trend setter for the Super Tuscan category. The definition of a Super Tuscan wine is pure and simple; it’s a wine made in Tuscany, using some or all grapes that are not traditionally from this region.

Tignanello remains closely Tuscan in theme and in taste. Ever since it was first made in 1975, this defiant rebel red has been made mostly from Sangiovese with a little less than 20 per cent of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend. Tig’ was born in and continues to be made from the Santa Cristina vineyard, a sprawling 127 hectares in the Chianti Classico zone, 350 to 450 metres above sea level.

The wine is aged for at least 16 months in barrels, which typically tend to be a blend of mostly French with a little Hungarian oak also used.

The history of Tignanello 

Tig' was the first Sangiovese on the record to be aged in barriques, the first contemporary red wine blended with non traditional Tuscan grape varieties (specifically Cabernet Sauvignon) and one of the first red wines in the Chianti Classico region that didn’t use white grapes in the blend. All up, a big call. 

Piero Antinori first discovered the use of non indigenous grapes, and more specifically, those used in Bordeaux through his uncle Marchese Mario Incisa della Rochetta who had a vineyard at Tenuta San Guido in Bolgheri, and was making a wine using grapes better known as Bordeaux classics, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot et al. 

At first, this was for his own personal consumption, however was released in 1968 as the legendary Sassicaia.

Piero went off and forged his own path in Tuscany making wines from the local Sangiovese but also a select few made from Bordeaux grapes. This wine is a blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc - and as these wines are prohibited in Chianti, the wine is an IGT and not a DOCG. 

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