Cignale  2011 Front Label
Cignale  2011 Front LabelCignale  2011 Front Bottle Shot

Cignale 2011

  • JS95
  • RP92
750ML / 13% ABV
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  • RP93
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750ML / 13% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Deep, dark ruby in color, the wine has a spicy bouquet of cedar wood, black cherry, wild strawberry, black currant, and subtle notes of well integrated new oak. On the palate the wine is rich, harmonious, and concentrated. Beautifully structured with polished tannins and a long, silky finish.

Pairs well with roasted or grilled red meats and game dishes

Blend: 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot

Critical Acclaim

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JS 95
James Suckling
Very floral and beautiful with hints of dark fruit, blackcurrants and dried flowers such as violets. Full body, firm and silky tannins and a fresh and bright finish. Lots of dried citrus undertones. A little hard but very impressive. A standard-bearer for Super Tuscans. It's a cabernet sauvignon and merlot blend.
RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
As always, the 2011 Cignale is a blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Merlot (aged for 24 months in oak). The wine represents a joint venture between vintner Alessandro François and importer Neil Empson, and it has brought lots of attention to Castello di Querceto over the years. This edition shows dark cherry and dark fruit layers with generous spice, cinnamon and grilled herb. There's a sudden point of sour cherry followed by sharp tannic firmness. This wine needs to flesh out further.
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Cignale, Italy
Cignale  Winery Image
Like all stories set in the world of fine wine, the tale of Cignale actually began long before production began. Nearly a decade earlier: it was 1980 when Neil & Maria Empson decided they would craft their own Super Tuscan. Vineyard location was their first concern: the Empsons have always believed great soil and microclimate are the prerequisites of great wines. Another keen preoccupation was finding a partner they could trust and work closely with. Their choice fell on a wonderful wine producer and friend, Alessandro “Sandro” François and his wife, Antonietta. The François' owned a historic estate in the northeastern portion of Chianti Classico, near Greve in Chianti – one of the region’s finest sites. The property was superb: elevated hillsides rising 1,320 to 1,740 feet (400-530 meters) above sea level, with a unique geological composition; Cretaceous-Eocenic polychrome schists, rich in manganese and alcaline-earth metals. The four friends entered into a joint venture agreement and in February 1981, they planted 5 acres with new, low-yielding clones of Cabernet Sauvignon from Bordeaux, and 1.25 acres of Merlot. Another 1.25 acres were planted with Cabernet Sauvignon grafted onto 20-year-old Sangiovese vines to give some extra depth to the new wine.

One of the first, experimental harvests (1983) incurred in a not-so-little contretemps when the entire crop was wiped out by wild boars. The silver lining was, the Empsons now had a name for their wine: Cignale, old Tuscan dialect for cinghiale or “wild boar”. Cignale was finally released in 1990, with the 1986 vintage. The wine had spent 2 years in 75% new barriques and 25% used ones; in February 1989, Neil made the final component blend with a small percentage of Sangiovese Grosso, then left the wine in stainless steel until bottling in July 1989, unfiltered. His artist wife, Maria Gemma Empson, designed the labels, which feature a series of six pen and ink drawings depicting Cignale's first, bristly fans.

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Red Wine

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Legendary in Italy for its Renaissance art and striking landscape, Tuscany is also home to many of the country’s best red wines. Sangiovese reigns supreme here, as either the single varietal, or a dominant player, in almost all of Tuscany’s best.

A remarkable Chianti, named for its region of origin, will have a bright acidity, supple tannins and plenty of cherry fruit character. From the hills and valleys surrounding the medieval village of Montalcino, come the distinguished and age-worthy wines based on Brunello (Sangiovese). Earning global acclaim since the 1970s, the Tuscan Blends are composed solely of international grape varieties or a mix of international and Sangiovese. The wine called Vine Nobile di Montepulciano, composed of Prognolo Gentile (Sangiovese) and is recognized both for finesse and power.

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SOU384693_2011 Item# 245869

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