80% Sangiovese, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc
The autumn and winter of 2009 in the Chianti Classico area were characterized by cold and rainy weather. Rainfall during the winter months provided the soil with a good water supply for the spring, which was mild and without sharp drops in temperature, allowing the vines to sprout regularly. Summer began with a rather rainy June and July, an exceptional situation in this area. Plant vegetation was long, but the small clusters formed and grew well, thanks also to the subsequent hot and dry August. The grapes in the Tignanello vineyard began their ripening in September and October, which had ideal weather conditions. Sunny, warm days combined with strong temperature swings between day and night allowed excellent but slow evolution of the berries, requiring the Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes more days to ripen. The harvests were concentrated between the end of September and the first fortnight of October, starting with the earliest Sangiovese plots and ending with the later Cabernet grapes. The quality of the grapes harvested and brought to the winery was of a high standard, so much so that it bodes well for a vintage of great depth.
After important and careful selections during the growing season, the grapes were harvested exclusively by hand depending on the variety but also on the many variables related to the terroir of the plots, which determine different harvest times and consequently different wine lots. Cabernet Franc, the first variety to ripen, was harvested from September 27 to 29, the date on which the long harvest of Sangiovese began, which lasted 12 days. Cabernet Sauvignon, on the other hand, was harvested from October 10 to 14.
Upon arrival at the winery, the grapes were delicately destemmed and the berries, before being pressed, carefully selected at the sorting table; here attention to detail is at the highest level, berries that were not fully ripe, a rarity in the 2009 vintage, were eliminated so that only those that were perfectly ripe would arrive in the vinification tank. During fermentation and maceration, in the truncated cone tanks, the musts were slowly transformed into wine, allowing the freshness of the aromas, the extraction of color and tannins to express themselves to the fullest. All this requires great sensitivity, knowledge of the grapes and constant care of the product, which was led to racking only after careful, daily tastings. Once the skins were separated, malolactic fermentation was started in barriques, which enhanced the finesse and pleasantness of the wine. Thus began the aging process that lasted approximately 16-18 months in French and Hungarian oak barrels; during this period the different lots, vinified separately according to variety and viticultural variables, reached their maximum expression and were then blended a few months before bottling.
Tignanello is produced exclusively from the vineyard of the same name located on a 57-hectare southwest-facing plot of limestone origin with tuffaceous elements, at an elevation of 350 to 400 meters above sea level at the Tignanello Estate. It was the first Sangiovese to be aged in barriques, the first modern red wine blended with nontraditional varieties such as Cabernet, and among the first red wines in Chianti not to use white grapes. Tignanello, originally "Chianti Classico Riserva vigneto Tignanello," was first vinified from a single vineyard with the 1970 vintage, when it contained 20% Canaiolo and 5% Trebbiano and Malvasia, and was aged in small oak barrels. With the 1971 vintage it became a table wine of Tuscany and was called Tignanello, and with the 1975 vintage the white grapes were totally eliminated. Since 1982 the composition has remained the same as it is today. Tignanello is produced only in the best vintages; it was not produced in 1972, 1973,1974, 1976, 1984, 1992 and 2002.
The wine has an intense ruby red color characterized by purplish highlights. Olfactory notes are expressed with hints of licorice, violets, violets and cherries in alcohol, vanilla, cocoa and sweet toast. On the palate the aroma is persuasive, sapidity and freshness enhance an aftertaste of great persistence and finesse. Tignanello 2009 is a harmonious and elegant wine, an authentic expression of the Chianti territory.