2001 Villa Antinori Toscano - Printable Version

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- hotwine - 05-03-2005 06:44 PM

A blend of 60% Sangiovese, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot and 5% Syrah, probably qualifying as a "super Tuscan". A deep dark red color, nose of dark cherries, earth and Tennessee tobacco; more dark cherries on the palate, a bit more earth, fading tobacco, a finish that's peaty and spicey. Gorgeous. With chicken ravioli in alfredo sauce and steamed broccoli. 13% alc/vol and about $18 I think (lost the receipt). Buy more. Put it on credit, hock the truck, whatever.

- TheEngineer - 05-03-2005 10:23 PM

Thanks, I've walked by this one a few times. Will pick up a few to try.

- Kcwhippet - 05-04-2005 04:41 AM

Are you sure that was Tennessee tobacco and not Virginia?

- hotwine - 05-04-2005 06:29 AM

Yup. Straight from my grandpa's tobacco barn in East Tennessee.

- wondersofwine - 05-04-2005 07:33 AM

KC, I almost made the same comment about how he could distinguish Tennessee tobacco from another but I guess HW has the creds to back it up.

- hotwine - 05-04-2005 08:06 AM

What can I say? It's sweeter, more delicate in aroma and flavor, than Virginie leaf. Memory brings a smile.

- RJonesUSC - 05-04-2005 11:25 PM

Just picked up 6 more bottles at $14.99. A good wine for the price IMO.

- jmcginley1 - 05-05-2005 04:28 PM

I'd only call Antinori's "Solaia" and "Tignanello" a super-tuscan. This red is just what it says, a Tuscan wine from the Estates of Antonori. That being said, it is a great freaking wine for the price. I love the spice with a great balance of acidity and tannins in the finish.

[This message has been edited by jmcginley1 (edited 05-05-2005).]

- hotwine - 05-05-2005 06:21 PM

A "super Tuscan" is merely a wine from Toscano whose blend doesn't meet the requirements of the Chianti or Chianti Classico, as I understand it. This one has the Frenchy components of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah, so it can only be labeled a red table wine.

- jmcginley1 - 05-05-2005 11:24 PM

it isn't labled as a table wine though, it is an IGT, which is a step up from the "table wine" lable.

I've always been under the impression (I could be wrong), that "super tuscan" isn't an official declaration at all. It was a lable initially given to wines like Antinori's "Tignanello" which were quality wines made in the 1970s that didn't follow the DOC ruleset of the time.

Nowadays, for a wine to be dubbed a "Super Tuscan" it has to be more than a non-DOC tuscan wine. It has to be a REALLY GOOD non-DOC tuscan wine, typically wines of low-productions from single vinyards. I am not knocking the quality of this wine at all, but Antinori is making wines much better, and more prestigious than this, so I wouldn't refer to it as one.

For example, Isole e Olena's "Cepparello" is called a "super tuscan," but their IGT Syrah, also grown in Tuscany (in the chianti zone) isn't dubbed a "super tuscan."

[This message has been edited by jmcginley1 (edited 05-05-2005).]

- wondersofwine - 05-06-2005 06:54 AM

I think McGinley is correct but it becomes very confusing since it's not an official designation. I happen to love Ciacci Piccolomino "Ateo," a blend of Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot). It's in the under $30 range so probably not a super Tuscan but i find it a super wine to sniff and sip. (And I see that one web description of the Ateo does call it a "super Tuscan."

- hotwine - 05-06-2005 07:35 AM

Hardly makes sense to quibble over an unofficial term. If it is Toscana IGT and includes non-indigenous grapes, I call it a super-Tuscan. Could also call it simply Toscano. Or Tuscan. Whatever. No big thing.

- jmcginley1 - 05-08-2005 11:42 PM

I have to admit, working in an Italian resturant alongside a few recently immigrated Italians, I get caught up in some unneeded specifics concerning Italian wines. So I appoligize if I came across rudely, or confrontationaly.

On a pleasant note, I had a bottle of this last night at a local byob with Lasagna. Better than I remembered it, and the lady liked it as well, so I am encouraged to bring more bottles home in the future.

- Zinner - 05-11-2005 01:00 AM

Tonight I chatted a bit with Guido Orzalesi of Altesino (he's assistant to the head winemaker) about the question of "Super Tuscans." He said there are no rules except that the grapes must be grown in Tuscany. Beyond that he considers the more full-bodied and aged wines to fall in that category(as opposed to lighter, fresher wines).

The name came about because of wines such as Sassicaia and Ornallia (sp?) which were not Chianti or Brunellos.

Many are Sangiovese mixed with Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot or both, but a Super Tuscan can be 100% one varietal. Thus Orzalesi considers Altesino's '99 Borgo d'Altesi, which is all Cabernet, to be a Super Tuscan.

If it seems a bit hard to pin down, I think that the Italians don't mind having no precise definition. Orzalesi thinks Americans show much more interest in the technical details of wine than Europeans. There it's a question of who producer is and how the bottle tastes. People find a producer who is making a style of wine that they like and that's what matters to them.

- hotwine - 05-11-2005 06:32 AM

Interesting, Zin. Had not heard the term applied to a single varietal before.

I look on the term as describing a wine-making style, rather than a wine's quality or status in the market.

- Zinner - 05-11-2005 01:35 PM

Well, I hadn't known it to be applied to a single varietal either, but that's why I like to ask someone who's close to the process. I nearly always learn something.

Agree completely that the Italians too consider it to be a question of style.