An informal classification
for certain premium red
(and occasionally white
) wines from Tuscany
. The distinguishing characteristic
of these wines is the employment
winemaking techniques in pursuit
of a superior product.
Italy's wine-classification system provides rigid controls for producers who make top-level DOC/DOCG wines, with some justification: if winemakers are held to similar standards, this helps consumers know what they're getting. For the past several decades, however, certain winemakers have been operating outside the guidelines (for example, working with blends of such non-Italian grapes as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah in addition to the more mainstream Sangiovese) in order to produce the best possible--if "nontraditional"--wine. Before the 1990s, these wines were labeled as "Vino di Tavola" or table wine, which generally implies that the wine is crap. Recently, however, the Italian government has taken steps to legitimize these fine wines by creating the Indicazione Geografica Tipica or IGT classification; this is roughly synonymous with the French "Vin de Pays." This has put the Super Tuscans on the offical map, and has been an intermediate step to some exemplary wines being granted DOC status.
Back to Rook's Wine Reviews