Located in central Italy along the Tyrrhenian coast, Tuscany is home to some of the world’s most notable wine regions. Along with the Piedmont, Tuscany is the country’s most important and high-yielding wine area. Perhaps the most famous, Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano (all made with the Sangiovese grape), and Vin Santo (a dessert wine), have been named the "Super Tuscans." They represent a large group of some of Italy’s best red wines born in the early 1970s.
Tuscany is divided into twenty-nine Denominazione di Origin Controllata (DOC) and seven Denominazioni di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG). The regulations imposed by these groups were what brought about the “super Tuscans.” Producers felt restricted and made wines outside DOC/DOCG regulations that were considered to be of high quality—and demanded a high price as a result.
Some producers sought to keep away from using some legally “suggested” grape varieties, like the Italian white grapes which were considered an integral aspect of Chianti. Other winemakers began blending Cabernet and Merlot with indigenous grape varieties, which, at the time in the early 70s, wereforbidden.
While the Tuscany region produces a wide range of excellent wines for wine lovers, some of the more famous Tuscan wines, like Chianti and Brunello, are experiencing a marked decrease in bottles sold. There are many reasons for this; among them: a steep rise in prices recently; the hot Tuscan real estate market pushing some of the more experienced winemakers out; and the influx of oenological consultants who are having a negative impact on the diversity of wines. Fortunately, most recently, this trend may be reversing.
Antonio Galloni's Vinous, 97 points: The 2011 d'Alceo is fascinating to taste next to the Sammarco, as it is much more open-knit, silky and expressive. Cherry jam, pomegranate, spice and new leather flesh out in the glass. The integration of fruit, tannin...
Antonio Galloni's Vinous, 95 points: 95+ The 2011 Sammarco is so youthful it almost tastes like a barrel sample! Dark, rich and inviting, the 2011 possesses notable concentration and depth, with round yet powerful tannins and a surprising level of freshness...
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I purchased a lot from JJB when I previously lived in California... Always better prices and they'd hold bottles until I put together cases to ship. Great customer service. I moved to Italy 4 years ago and was out of the loop, but I'm back and happy to go with JJ!
-Joseph S., June 2017