When the term Super Tuscan was first used, it referred to:
A. An internationally styled wine made outside of the denomination regulations for Chianti
B. An internationally styled wine made outside the denomination regulations for Tuscany
C. A wine that was crafted to appeal to the American palate
D. An internationally styled wine made from Cabernet Sauvignon and Nebbiolo
Many of Italy’s superstar wines were first made in the Chianti and Chianti Classico regions in Tuscany in the 1970s and 1980s. They were not wines of a place, but rather, wines of a style: flamboyant, highly structured with lots of tannin, ample bodied, and generally wrapped in new oak’s vanilla robe of flavor. Based on red grape varieties only, they were wines that, by Italian wine law at the time, could not be labeled Chianti or Chianti Classico but only be designated vini da tavola—table wines. But their sky-high prices and fanciful proprietary names gave them away. Wine writers nicknamed them the Super Tuscans. Since that time, Italian DOC/DOCG laws have been revised and some of the original Super Tuscans are now classified as Chianti Classico DOCG or Bolgheri DOC; other Super Tuscans today carry the status IGT. But the stylistic term Super Tuscan is still helpful to wine drinkers, for it gives us a sense of what we might expect once we pull the cork.