A groundbreaking Italian red

2013 TignanelloThis stylish Italian red offers super-suave tannins and dreamy fruit, says Matthew Jukes.


2013 Tignanello, Marchesi Antinori, Tuscany, ItalyAbout £75, various wine merchants and wine brokers.

I was asked, at short notice, to put together an elite-level France v Italy tasting the other day. While hastily lining up ten wines, all in pairs, to go head to head, I came across some 2004 Vieux Chteau Certan and felt it would be the perfect wine in the "Bordeaux-style" category to represent France: one of my favourite estates in the world, a superb vintage and drinking perfectly.

What could Italy offer to challenge this extraordinary Pomerol? I plumped for one of Italy's most famous and pioneering labels the groundbreaking, Super-Tuscan hero Tignanello. Once a Chianti Classico, this stylish wine decided to break the local wine rules by using French barrels to mature its sangiovese. It also introduced Bordeaux grapes cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc into the mix.

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The first release in 1971 provoked a storm of controversy but also gained it a legion of new admirers. Over the years this wine has finessed its offering and grown production. With some 20,000 cases being made each year I'm confident you will be able to find stock easily online.

The 2013 Tignanello is already drinking beautifully, and it floored the guests at my event with its super-suave tannins and dreamy fruit. I will not be so crass as to tell you which wine won this particular round, but needless to say it was a very close run thing.

Matthew Jukes

Matthew Jukes has worked in the UK wine business for well over three decades and during this time has written 14 wine books.  

Matthew regularly lectures, judges, speaks at wine conferences and runs masterclass tastings for both corporate and private clients all over the world. Matthew is also the creator of his ground-breaking initiative, the One Day Wine School, an indulgent day of tasting and learning first performed in 2006.

He has been the MoneyWeek wine correspondent since 2006 and has written a weekly column for the Daily Mail’s Weekend Magazine since 1999. His four highly-acclaimed, annual wine reports – the Burgundy En Primeur Report, the Bordeaux En Primeur Report, the Piemonte Report and the 100 Best Australian Wines – are published on his website, www.matthewjukes.com.

Matthew is one of the world’s leading experts on Australian wine and, with Brisbane-based wine writer Tyson Stelzer, runs an annual competition in Australia to find ‘The Great Australian Red’.  He was made Honorary Australian of the Year in the UK at the 2012 Australia Day Foundation Gala dinner. 

Matthew is a winner of the International Wine and Spirit Competition's Communicator of the Year Trophy.  His thoughts, recommendations and tastings notes are followed very closely by the wine world at large.