Tag Archives: Super Tuscan

Chianti Classico: Characterful Wines at Value Prices

What I love about Chianti, besides the value prices, are the reliably high acidities, tart red fruit, and savory elements, suggestive of herbs like tarragon, and aromas reminiscent of a forest hike. These characteristics, when combined with food typical of the region–rich pastas, tomato based sauces and braised meats–create unbeatable pairings. For me, these wines truly represent the soul of Tuscany, reminding me of walks in its olive groves and memorable meals in which the wine and food combine to create sublime moments of true satisfaction. Continue reading

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Il Caberlot: A Love Story

In the week we celebrate Valentine’s Day it seems only fitting for a wine blog to acknowledge that the key ingredient in many of the world’s most extraordinary wines is love. Continue reading

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Sangiovese: Italy’s Most Ubiquitous Grape

The ultimate expression of Sangiovese for me is the 100% Sangiovese from the Montalcino area in Tuscany, known as Brunello di Montalcino. Montalcino is a relatively warm and dry micro climate where the Sangiovese grape can experience a longer growing period than virtually anywhere else in Italy. Continue reading

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Super Tuscans: Legacy of a One-Time Wine World Darling

Super Tuscans were darlings of the wine world from the mid-’90s through the early 2000s. These wines, whose producers include some of Italy’s most illustrious and historically significant, are based sometimes on blends of Sangiovese with international varietals–like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot–and sometimes just on international varietals. The term Super Tuscan is used to describe any red wine from the Tuscan region that does not conform to the region’s DOC(G) blending requirements, such as the Chianti DOC rule that the dominant grape of the blend has to be Sangiovese. Many Super Tuscans garnered very high scores from Parker and the Wine Spectator, leading to much demand and increasingly high prices for these wines. By the middle of the first decade of 2000, however, many Italian producers were offering Super Tuscan blends, most of which were indistinguishable from red international varietal blends from elsewhere. The market grew increasingly soft for these kinds of wines, and only the top, most well established names are still commanding prices well over $100 a bottle, and the demand even for these wines is much reduced from their heyday. Continue reading

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The Suckling: Pomposity and Corruption?

The Suckling is the kind of blow hard, egomaniacal, ethics-less wine world jerk who could start to make Robert Parker look like a saint. Continue reading

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Castello di Ama tasting with owner Lorenza Sebasti Pallanti: Chianti, Merlot, Vin Santo

Can Chianti be elegant and sophisticated? And if so, is there a market for Chianti priced at over $150 a bottle? After tasting the basic and single vineyard Chiantis from Castello di Ama, I can enthusiastically answer yes to the first question. I’m very doubtful about there being much of a market for single vineyard Chiantis at this price, however, at least outside of Italy. Continue reading

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