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Super Tuscan evolution: Comparing Tignanello and Solaia

Michaela Morris compares several vintages of Antinori’s Tignanello and Solaia, looking at the stylistic evolution of two wines born several years apart in the 1970s but from the same Tuscan property.

One of Italy’s most famed wines, Tignanello is pushing 50. The vineyard was first referenced on a label of Antinori’s 1970 Chianti Classico Riserva and the following year Tignanello eschewed the denomination for the lowly Vino da Tavola designation. Its counterpart, Solaia was born soon afterward in 1978.

Both wines have gone through an evolution. In the early years, their blends modified gradually. Tignanello eventually landed at 80-85% Sangiovese, supported by Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, while Solaia’s 75% Cabernet Sauvignon is rounded out by Sangiovese and Cabernet Franc. With the wines’ identities well-established, Antinori has devoted the last 20 years to fine-tuning the styles.

To explore the transformation of the last two decades, I was invited to Antinori’s California-esque headquarters in San Casciano Val di Pesa, just within the limits of the Chianti Classico region.

Michaela’s tasting notes and scores for Solaia and Tignanello:



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