Chapter 6 of 11 from James Suckling

Appreciation on Location, Part 1: A Vertical Tasting


Soil and climate play an essential role in the winemaking process. James teaches you how to look for subtleties between vintages with a vertical tasting of Tignanello.

Topics include: Characteristics of the '83 and '99 Tignanello • Characteristics of the '07 Tignanello • Characteristics of the '15 Tignanello and Beyond • The Future of Wine

Soil and climate play an essential role in the winemaking process. James teaches you how to look for subtleties between vintages with a vertical tasting of Tignanello.

Topics include: Characteristics of the '83 and '99 Tignanello • Characteristics of the '07 Tignanello • Characteristics of the '15 Tignanello and Beyond • The Future of Wine

James Suckling

James Suckling Teaches Wine Appreciation

Flavor, aroma, and structure—Learn from wine master James Suckling as he teaches you to appreciate the stories in every bottle.

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Discover the story in every bottle

Called one of the “world’s most powerful wine critics,” James Suckling has tasted more than 200,000 wines over the past 40 years. In his MasterClass, James tours legendary Tuscan vineyards and teaches you to explore the stories, history, and people behind every bottle. Deepen your knowledge of the properties in each sip, cultivate your passion, and choose, order, and pair wines with confidence.

Immerse yourself in the vineyards of Tuscany with renowned wine critic James Suckling and deepen your appreciation for the wines of the world.

A downloadable wine guide accompanies the class with lesson recaps, supplemental materials, and a printable worksheet to help you conduct your own tastings.

Upload videos to get feedback from the class. James will also respond to select student questions.


Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

I know very little about wine. I enjoyed the class tremendously. The information was very helpful and easy to understand. The scenery was beautiful.

MasterClass gives me wealth and depth of knowledge from the true experts. More importantly they ignite the passion on the subject matter in me!

It was a wonderful journey to Italy and secrets of wine tasting and producing. I enjoyed every lesson!

Loved James' masterclass. Tasted wines while watching, and had visited Tuscany this summer, so it all resonated with us. Learned a ton, and would love to see the next edition. - Tom and Karen, Burlington, Vermont.


Andrew Stephen L.

Great to hear all about such amazing history of wine 🍷 and seeing such a beautiful place! Look forward to seeing the next lesson x

John B.

I love Tignanello, especially 2007. This vertical really opens up one's eyes and mind to the legacy that leads to this triumph. Articulate explanations by the current doyenne of the Antinori family really bring it to life – with pleasure, with passion, with soul, with dedication, and with honor. Bravo.

Jhershierra J.

I would have to agree that at least for me, lately, I am looking for a more natural wine and lower alcohol levels. This has been challenging for me to find good ones. Local stores dont seem to carry much so I occasionally search the internet.

Thomas R.

James, Thanks for the demonstration of a vertical tasting. I learned that vintages not necessarily have to be back to back, right? The first time I noticed about a vertical tasting I was looking at 6 back to back vintages of Don Melchor in a private section visiting a wine dealer in Santiago de Chile. I started to build a VT in the same way with another Chilean wine. Question though: how do you compose your VTs? Thanks, Thomas

Mark F.

Cheers, James! Thank you! LOVE the classes. Learning SO much. I rejoined for another year of MC because of you, sir.

A fellow student

What winemakers can do about global warming is to stop using chemicals in the vineyard, to go back to polyculture & to create more biodiversity around the land. That's more long lasting & accurate than trying to guess what the weather will be for the year & how much of each chemical is going to be applied. Humans always trying to control everything & screwing things up at the end.

Gustavo P.

Amazing chapter!!!! You can see the connection, the heart and soul of the wine maker and the wine. Love the Antinori family and their dedication to make excellent, superb wines. Love the tasting...I´m running to the store right now.

Chris C.

Chapter 6, Part 1, enjoyed this 98 Pt, 2015 Tignanello with fruit and spice, well defined structure with herbaceous tomato plant notes. A friend also noted cocoa/chocolate. Verticals are really great. These lessons made me thirsty so ran out for this bottle.

Chris C.

Chapter 6, Part 1, required fully immersive “hands on” experience for my adult learning model. C

Bud P.

Wow! After all these years of following the JS ratings, it's great to meet and learn from the actual person. How cool. How fun! Cheers!


We're now going to taste a small range of Tignanello. This would be called a vertical tasting, because it's various vintages from the same winery. A horizontal tasting is the same year but different wineries or vineyards. So when you're doing a tasting like this, what do you want students to come away with? - So this is an occasion, on the range of 35 years, to understand across the vintages, what is the essence of that piece of vineyards. The soil is always the same. Across 35 years, there might be some differences in the planting, in the techniques, or the picking. But the variable is the climate. Every year it's different. 2017 was very warm. 2014 was very cool. So you are trying to interpret well and make sure that everything is equilibrated and well balanced. - Well, aren't you worried about climate change? - We always worry. But let's say that this is one of the variables that you can't really switch and change. What we can do in the vineyard is make sure that you're always ready at the beginning of the season to interpret world weather. So it's basically about equilibrium, you know, when you have to find the perfect equilibrium. And you're trying to help nature. If it's wetter year, you take some bunches off to make sure that the bunches that remain on the vine get to perfect maturation. You might help it a bit with taking the weeds out of the vineyard, if there is not enough water. So you can help, all to get a good balance that has to reflect at the end in the wine. [MUSIC PLAYING] - When I do a vertical tasting I always like to go left to right, because then you can see the evolution, the history of the winery, besides seeing the quality of each vintage. - And also because the older wines can be more delicate, while the younger ones are stronger and more babyish. So your palate gets accustomed. - Exactly. - So the oldest one is 1983, which was-- a bit of rain we had there, in September. So a fresher wine, it has always been. I must say that it's showing nice. - I've had a few bottles of this in my life. And this is one of the best I've had. But of course, it's here from the cantina, from your cellar. It's never moved. You made the wine, put it in a bottle, and here it is. Now you're taking it out after all these years. - Yes. - But a great, great wine, and showing that special time in the history of Italian wines when there was a beginning of this change in how they were making wines, a move to a cleaner, more modern style. - In the '70s, beginning of the '80s, a lot of work was done in the cellar-- microbiological, fermentation, controlling malolactics, all these aspects that were typical of-- of cellar. In the '90s, there was more concentration starting, more concentration in the vineyard. Viticulture-wise, it takes much longer, because you have to plant. You have to think how you can plant different, how you can prune. And it takes a long time before a vine is planted an...