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Supertuscan is a term used to describe a fine red wine from Tuscany that may include non-local grapes, particularly Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah. The term Supertuscan was coined in the early 1980s to describe this type of red wine blend. Some experts believe that it might have come from different sources, like the famous Italian food and wine writer Luigi Veronelli, or David Gleave, a UK Master of Italian Wine.
In 1872 Baron Bettino Ricasoli established the perfect Chianti Classico formula: 70% Sangiovese, a mix of Canaiolo and Malvasia Bianca grapes. As years passed by the regulations in which it was produced were modified.
During the 1960s and 1970s, some winemakers began making combinations using authorized grape wine varieties, this way avoiding the strict restrictions that regulated the making of the most prestigious wine Denomination of the Region.
The Marquis Incisa della Rocchetta was one of the first who decided not to be limited by the firm regulations, in his path to experiment with a new wine variety with the help of the famous winemaker Giacomo Tachis, produced Sassicaia, the precursor of the Supertuscans. The genius of the Marquis was to contrast the Chianti Classico with a new way to experience Tuscan wine.
Consequently, great red wines began circulating in the market, produced in purity from Cabernet Sauvignon or Cabernet Franc grapes, in purity from Sangiovese grapes, or through a blend of the grapes of these vines, rigorously passed in barrique. Even though they excelled in quality, these wines still did not respect the ampelographic base and the aging rules established by the Chianti committee, therefore could not make use of DOC or DOCG prestigious denominations.
During this period there was a general feeling of frustration and discontent among these winemakers towards the slow-changing laws that regulated production, they wanted their high-quality wine to be acknowledged as such, a tier above the basic Vino da Tavola. In 1992 after several requests the laws were changed and a new designation was created: the IGT (Indicazione Geografica Tipica) finally Supertuscan wines could be defined as those wines produced either only with Sangiovese grapes or with Sangiovese grapes and other international grape varieties, differentiating from Chianti DOCG wines. In 1996 after the wine-making regulations were modified (two distinct regulations for Chianti DOCG and Chianti Classico DOCG ) the definition for Supertuscan wines changed as well: the opening to international vines and Sangiovese in purity. Nowadays the Super Tuscans are high-quality red wines obtained either from 100% Sangiovese grapes or from Sangiovese grapes and grapes of local and or international vines, however, they do not respect the rules of the Chianti disciplinary in terms of percentage or other specific characteristics. Another distinctive feature is the passage in the barrique. These wines, therefore, differ precisely in terms of blend or methods of vinification and aging from wines falling within the DOCG “Chianti” or “Chianti Classico”. Some Supertuscan wines are also known as the “Bordeaux blend wines”, which are called this way because the added grapes come from Bordeaux. Some wineries produce Super Tuscans with only 100% Sangiovese wine. These wines have in common some precise characteristics such as full-bodied taste, longevity, and important structure.
Fattoria San Michele a Torri
Via di San Michele, 36
50018 Scandicci – Firenze, Italia
Phone +39 055 769111
Open to the public
Monday to Saturday
10AM to 12PM and 3PM to 7PM
Sunday by appointment
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