Introduce Yourself

Snooth User: vino in love

Hello!

Posted by vino in love, Feb 7, 2013.

Hello there!

I thought I introduce myself to this nice community!

My name is Julian and I currently live in Munich, Germany. I have lived in Italy and Houston, TX for a few years. Next to wine, traveling is one of my big passions and I've seen most of Italy and much of Europe.

My favorite wines come from Italy and I've already shared a some of my tasting notes here on Snooth.

You can also find me at Vino in Love where I am an author. If you want you can follow me on twitter, too.

On a side note: I would appreciate it, if someone could tell me how to complete my profile. It remains stuck at 80%. Not that I really care but it seems a bit weird.

Replies

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Reply by amour, Feb 7, 2013.

Welcome!

Which Super Tuscans do you rate highly?

What food do you pair them with, if you do? Or can you even suggest?

Just curious!

Thanks in advance for a prompt response!

CHEERS!

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Reply by vino in love, Feb 7, 2013.

Thank you!

Only last week, I wrote an article about Super Tuscans.

Tignanello, the very first Super Tuscan, produced by Antinori is one of my favorites (it's a bit expensive though, $80+). At least once in a life time one should try the Tignanello.
Much more affordable is the 2009 Poggio ai Ginepri by Tenuta Argentiera. Of course it is not as good as the Tignanello but it's a fine wine.

Last but not least I can recommend you the 2007 Levante by Tenute Loacker.

Most aged Super Tuscans pair well with beef tenderloin on Mediterranean vegetables. Veal works very well with a few Super Tuscans that have soft, mellow tannins.

Cheers!

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Reply by EMark, Feb 7, 2013.

Very pleased to meet you V i L. 

Thank you, also for the recommendations in your latest post.  I am fairly new to Super Tuscans, but I am all over your meal-matching recommendations.

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Reply by vino in love, Feb 7, 2013.

Nice to meet you, too, Emark :)

Do you know how I complete my profile? It got stuck at 80% complete somehow.

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Reply by Michael C Butler, Feb 7, 2013.

ViL as for the 80% stuck, did you choose at least 1 favorite wine region, at least 1 favorite grape varietal, follow at least 1 user or mentor, and generally fill in all the fields in the "Complete Profile" pop-up?

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Reply by vino in love, Feb 7, 2013.

Thank you Michael. I did not fill out all fields. Now it's done :)

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Reply by gregt, Feb 7, 2013.

Vino - welcome.

BTW,  there's another thread about Super Tuscans.

http://www.snooth.com/talk/topic/i-just-flew-in-from-super-tuscany/

There's some information posted there. This isn't entirely accurate:

"Tignanello, the very first Super Tuscan, produced by Antinori is one of my favorites (it's a bit expensive though, $80+). At least once in a life time one should try the Tignanello."

I think honors, such as they are, would go to Sassicaia.

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Reply by vino in love, Feb 8, 2013.

Hello Gregt,

Antinori released the first Super Tuscan in 1970. Tignanello was the first Tuscan wine to age in French barriques and the first Sangiovese that was blended with Cabernet. This makes the Tignanello the first Super Tuscan.

Italian Wikipedia says Tignanello was the first Super Tuscan as well.

The website of Tenuta San Guida says the first vintage of Sassicaia that was released on the market was 1968 however they also say that back then they did not age their wine in French barriques. Therefore Sassicaia was not the first Super Tuscan. "Over the next few years, the cellar wans moved to a temperature controlled location, steel fermentation vats replaced wooden vats, and French barriques were introduced to the aging process."

A true Super Tuscan has to age in French barriques. Therefore Tignanello was the very first Super Tuscan.

I don't want to start an argument with you but I thought I let you know why I believe that Tignanello is the first Super Tuscan.

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Reply by gregt, Feb 8, 2013.

A true Super Tuscan has to age in French barriques

I don't want to get into an argument but where did this come from?  The term "Super Tuscan" is not a legally defined term. It is just a convenient descriptive term dreamed up by critics and writers. There are no rules that I'm aware of specifying what is and is not a Super Tuscan, any more than there are rules specifying what's "jumbo", "extra large" or "small" or what is a "classic" movie. Consequently, it's not sensible to talk of a "true" Super Tuscan. What would you call a 100% Syrah that was aged in tank? One could

In 1970 Tignanello had white grapes but in 1971 they eliminated those and consequently couldn't sell the wine as a Chianti because rules required white grapes. The white grape requirement for Chianti has since been eliminated - until 2005, white grapes could still be used. They rulemakers also increased the requirement of Sangiovese from 75 to 80 percent, knowing that Tignanello and others were using 80 percent.

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Reply by vino in love, Feb 8, 2013.

You are absolutely right that the term is one of the few in Italian wine legislation that is not defined.

However, to my awareness it as been an unwritten law that Super Tuscan is produced Bordeaux-style grapes or with a blend of Sangiovese + Bordeaux style grapes that aged in French barriques.

I wouldn't interpret 100% Syrah that aged in stainless steel tanks as a Super Tuscan. But that's just me.

Since it is not a legally defined term this argument will probably keep on going. Everyone is free to believe what they want so if we have different definitions of Super Tuscan then it's possible that for you Sassicaia and for me Tignanello was the first Super Tuscan :)

At the end, it doesn't matter that much to me. It's more important that the wine tastes good and that one appreciates the vintner's efforts to produce high-quality wines :)

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Reply by gregt, Feb 8, 2013.

Well that's quite true and on that note, one should mention that the Italians produce outstanding Merlot and Cab Franc and yes, even Syrah. Sometimes I think there's not much they CAN'T do.

Cheers!

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Reply by Richard Foxall, Feb 9, 2013.

I guess you could say that anyone who bottled a non-conforming vino di tavola in Tuscany could lay claim to it being the first Super Tuscan.  Which wine was reviewed in the article that coined the term?  Lots of ways to define yourself as the first "true" Super Tuscan.

I'd be interested to do a blind tasting of Cal cabs, French Bords, and Tignanello in an $80 and below range and see how Tignanello came out.  I would guess some of us would put it at or near the top.  GregT finds little reason to go above $50 for a bottle, but he's pretty enthusiastic about Tignanello and frankly, $80 for wines at the top of the heap isn't so unreasonable when you look at where even a Smith Haut Lafitte or a Philip Togni or Schaefer Hillside Select have gone, never mind first-growths and super-seconds. 

Welcome, ViL, don't let GregT's brass scare you off, you sound like a great source of information and some boots on the ground on the other side of the pond.  You'll soon learn that GregT is really just a cuddly, bug-eating proto-mammal and (best of all) generous with his knowledge and his wine.

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Reply by gregt, Feb 10, 2013.

Well Fox, now that's a good question - who came up with the first name?

I don't think anyone really knows. But to your other musing - it's exactly what happened.

Mario Incisa della Rocchetta decided to plant Cab and Merlot back in the 1940s. He had some land near the sea and had noticed that it was rocky and similar to the soil at Graves, so he figured those grapes would do well. Nobody really though that region was useful for grapes, which makes sense if you think of the hilly regions that most Italian wine comes from. And there were no regulations, so he could do whatever he wanted. He made it like Bordeaux and put it in barriques and enjoyed it for himself. He may not have been the first to plant those varieties as there's some thought that Cab may even have been growing in Carmignano and elsewhere even in the 1800s, but nobody did anything with it. Anyhow, he made the wine for himself and never sold any of it. And actually, those barriques were Slovenian; they changed to French only in something like 1977. At any rate, they were big and tannic compared to the lighter Tuscan wines of the time.

The thing to remember however, is that in the 1940s, the only wines that mattered were Bordeaux and Champagne, and to a lesser extent, Burgundy. Riesling, once the most sought-after wine, was off the radar because the Germanic nations had lost the war. The south of France was mostly filled with peasants making rustic wines for themselves or mass consumption, Italy was also on the wrong side and the country was devastated, also producing rustic, poor wines, there was no US wine industry to speak of, and the other "new world" regions were mere blips on the radar. So when the guy was looking for a model of something good, he sure didn't look at what was going on in Tuscany.

But Mario's nephew, Piero Antinori, also knew good wine and realized that his uncle had some pretty good stuff from his nowhere region. He had a big distribution company in addition to his winery, so he lent his enologist to his uncle, who planted a second vineyard, amped up the wine a little bit, and promised to let him sell a few cases in England. First commercial release came out in 1968. Until then it was only for family and friends. Impatient with their local regulations and inspired by his uncle, Antinori and his enologist also started on their own project with Cab and barriques and no whites, but he lived in the Chianti zone, which was an area with regulations. His wine was deliberately made to flout those regs, which is why it's considered more revolutionary.

The thing is however, it may not be as revolutionary as hindsight might have it. Remember that first, nobody really cared about Chianti or Tuscan wines - it wasn't considered serious, so other than the locals and a few wine geeks/writers, the regulations were pretty much irrelevant.

Anyhow, the key to success was similar to that of the American wine industry - a blind tasting. In 1978, Decanter organized a blind tasting of the world's best clarets and at that tasting were a few "Masters of Wine" and they accidentally picked Sassacaia as the best and even thought it was French. This of course, highlights once again the problem with blind tasting, i.e. you frequently get the wrong answer.

So Antinori, being a marketing guy, trumpeted that news all over the place, just like the Americans did a couple years earlier. And of course, other people decided that this Bolgheri region deserved notice. They started making similar wines and taking a page from the Americans, who were the masters of branding, they gave their wines individual names rather than estate names. 

European wine authorities being what they are, some 20 years later they decided they couldn't leave things to chance so they made the region a D.O., with it's own regulations, completely ignoring the fact that the whole reason it was successful was because it had no rules, but that's another discussion.

As to who used the term first, I don't think anyone is sure. Today Banfi is very happy to use it for their Summus, which is a blend of Sangiovese, Cab, and Syrah. Some people say it was first used by Nicholas Belfrage and Jancis Robinson called in a book called “Life beyond Lambrusco”, some people think it was first used by a guy named Bruce Anderson, who wrote for Wine Spectator in the 1980s and that's probably the best guess, and some say it was first used by Suckling himself, but that's unlikely.

 

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Reply by Richard Foxall, Feb 10, 2013.

This of course, highlights once again the problem with blind tasting, i.e. you frequently get the wrong answer.

GregT: Okay, that whole post is amazing, but that line might be the best thing ever written on Snooth. 

I'm not sure where you get all this stuff, but in the past your historical stuff has been so impeccable I'm not even going to check this out. 

But you still haven't answered my question from elsewhere--and on matters of opinion I do need convincing.  So, start a thread already about why you think California would have planted Italian grapes if they had revived their wine industry a little later.

And, back to our original poster, ViL, you are now the proud victim of thread drift.  Just wait till we start talking about sharks, neurogastronomy, and which grapes make women the most amorous.  Or something completely different.


 
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Reply by EMark, Feb 10, 2013.

Greg, I would like to second Foxall's compliment on your latest posting.  It is not totally comprehensive because it requires context from this and the other conversation on ST wines.  However, it is one of the best written, emminently readable posts I have ever seen on this or any other internet board.

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Reply by gregt, Feb 10, 2013.

Thanks guys. It's what happens when you're locked inside because of the damned blizzard. Totally jacked the OP's thread tho!

Sorry Vino! And once again,, welcome.

I don't remember where I got some of that but here's a great resource from the Bolgheri Consorzio.

http://www.bolgheridoc.com/bolgheridoc/images/immagini/testi/bolgheridoc_la_storia_ing.pdf


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