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Wine Spectator School

Course: Tuscany

Class 3: Bolgheri and Super Tuscans


Defining Super Tuscans

The term "super Tuscan" came into vogue during the late 1980s as a handful of reds from the region gained international attention.

These wines were a complete departure from Tuscany's traditional wines for two main reasons. They were made using

  1. International grape varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, which are traditionally from Bordeaux, and Syrah, traditionally from the Rhône
  2. New barriques or new French oak instead of in large, neutral botti made from Slavonian oak or chestnut

Ultimately, they were named "super" Tuscans for their superior quality.



Because these wines relied on grape varieties and winemaking techniques that were not allowed by the official classifications, they were sold as vini da tavola, or table wines....

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