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Supertuscans

rebel wines

In the 1970s, a new kind of Tuscan wine was unleashed in the markets, breaking all the rules of Chianti's classification system by blending the region's Sangiovese grapes with non-traditional varietals from Bordeaux (Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Syrah and Merlot) rather than the white wine specified in the appellation's guidelines, and ageing the wine in non-traditional oak barrels. Wine critic Robert Parker was the first to call time Supertuscans: among the first to hit the market were the Marchesi Antinori's Tiganello and Tenuta San Guido's Sassicaia—fabulous wines that soon commanded some of the regions's highest prices, but because of the rules had to be be labelled as humble vino da tavola.

To accommodate these new wines, a new legal appellation was invented, IGT (Indicazione Geografica Tipica), which gives producers more flexibility any Tuscan DOC and more prestige than vino da tavola.

Text © Dana Facaros and Michael Pauls

Images by: BMK, Creative COmmons License