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.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, 96 points: The 2013 Poggio Ai Merli is a beautiful wine from all sides. This pure expression of Merlot is generous and round with luscious layers that come forward one soft wave at a time. Perfectly ripened cherry, blackberry...
jamessuckling.com, 99 points: Superb wine here, offering aromas of dark berries, tobacco, tar, blackberries and black cherries. It changes all the time and is very complex with hints of meat. On the palate it's full-bodied and very well refined...
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, 97 points: The 2013 Masseto paints a glorious picture of Tuscany. It captures an inspired moment in time and walks an impressive tightrope between power and elegance. In my preview tasting last year, I noticed the firm textural...
jamessuckling.com, 98 points: The violets and blackberries show wonderfully on the nose here, yet this remains subtle and complete with hints of walnuts. Full body, ultra-fine and firm tannins and a beautiful fruit and mineral undertone. Tight and...
jamessuckling.com, 98 points: Aromas of blueberry, violet, and rose that turn to black truffle. Full body, ultra-fine tannins and very long. So gorgeous and persistent. It goes on for minutes.
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