In Italy, wine and politics mix. Twenty wine regions, which are also political divisions, dot the country. The characteristics of these regions—varietals, weather, soil, winemaking techniques, and elevations—vary between them, creating a wonderful variety of good to great wines.
What wines from Tuscany might you find in your wine shop? Let me highlight a couple of the more well known Tuscan wines.
Chianti is the Italian wine many people taste first, produced in the Chianti wine-producing area of Tuscany. It is made substantially from the Sangiovese grape. Sub areas of Chianti produce Chianti Classico, Chianti Colli, and Chianti Rufina. Chianti Classico has higher percentages of the Sangiovese grape required and longer aging than other Chiantis.
Riserva on a label does not refer to an area, but rather an aging process in barrel and bottle.
Chianti Classico Riserva was made from grapes of the Classico area, with varietals and aging as required for that DOCG.
Brunello di Montalcino is considered to be the best Tuscan wine and is produced from 100% Sangiovese grapes. Super Tuscan wines have competed with Brunello recently for the top wine distinction. The grape varietals in Super Tuscans can include cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc.
Piedmont (Piemonte) and Tuscany (Toscano) each claim to produce the best and highest quality Italian wine.
Brunello di Montalcino vs. Super Tuscans vs. Barolos
I leave it for you to decide! Which is the King of Italian wines: a Barolo from Piedmont or Brunello di Montalcino or a spectacular Super Tuscan?
Cin cin! Cheers!