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.
98 points, Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (May 2021)
The 2018 Tignanello is a wine of breathtaking purity. Impossibly silky and persistent, the 2018 is all class, all the way. In many ways, the 2018 reminds me of the 2004 because of its finesse , but it has an extra degree of nuance that reflects important strides that have been made at the estate in the intervening years. Winemaking today is more gentle, while new oak is also less intrusive. The result is a Tignanello that bristles with class. The purity of the flavors alone is mesmerizing. Bright red-toned berries, mocha, spice, cedar, new leather and licorice are some of the many notes that linger on a finish framed by silky, perfectly ripe tannins. Aging was 16 months in oak, about 50% new. One of the recent developments at Antinori has been a move towards lower toast levels and a preference for longer aging of the raw wood. The blend is a very typical 80% Sangiovese, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc, with maybe just a touch more Franc than is the norm. At the same time, the Sangiovese is very much front and center. Production hovers around 330,000 bottles. Think about that number. It is more than any Bordeaux First Growth, more than any high-end Napa Valley wine, and equivalent to the production of 60 or so cult Cabernets taken together! Tignanello, in my view, is the single greatest high quality, estate wine made in scale.
97 points, Antonio Galloni, Vinous (Feb 2021)
This is so aromatic with flowers, such as cherry blossoms and roses, together with currants and blackberries. A medium-bodied Tignanello with very fine tannins and depth. Racy and very, very long finish. Pure and refined. Lots of blue fruit. Tight at the end, but showing a sophisticated and reserved style. Very refined. Drinkable now, but will age nicely.
96 points, James Suckling (Apr 2021)