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Published:  23 July, 2008

By Tim Atkin MW

The difficult 2002 harvest in Italy has claimed at least one high-profile casualty, following the announcement that Antinori will not release a 2002 Tignanello. According to Piero Antinori, who was in London on 5 March to host a Circle of Wine Writers' tasting, this will be the first time since 1992 that the wine has not been made. We've had an unprecedented run of good vintages in Tuscany from 1995 to 2001,' Antinori told Harpers, and it had to end some time.' Antinori has yet to make a final decision on the 2002 release of another of his famous Super-Tuscan wines, the Cabernet Sauvignon-based Solaia, despite the fact that it is made in a neighbouring vineyard to Tignanello. Cabernet Sauvignon suffered less from the weather than Sangiovese in 2002,' he said, but we haven't made a final decision yet.' During the tasting, Antinori also revealed that he is switching the focus of Atlas Peak, the Napa Valley estate he purchased in 1993, away from Sangiovese to Bordeaux varieties. Sangiovese is not a variety that does well everywhere, like Cabernet Sauvignon or Chardonnay,' he said. The soils [at Atlas Peak] are very similar to what we have in Tuscany and the climate is not so different, but we've been disappointed by the final results.' The estate will continue to produce smaller amounts of Sangiovese, but the area under vine will be reduced from 32 hectares to 16ha, out of a total of 121ha.