Friday, February 28, 2014

The Rise and Fall of the Super Tuscan Wines

"There was a time when Super Tuscans ruled the Italian wine world. The darlings of critics, their popularity (and cost) were unparalleled. Names such as Sassicaia and Solaia were the stars of restaurant wine lists. Nowadays, however, Super Tuscans are just not, well, that super anymore! "

"The actual term “Super Tuscan” is often attributed to Robert Parker, the famous U.S. wine critic that gave many of these wines high scores, driving demand and prices up. Producers started using it on labels and a new category was born, which proved a huge marketing success."

"By the 2000s, the Super Tuscans faced three challenges. Firstly, the “brand”, was diluted. Everyone (and their cousin!) was introducing so called "Super Tuscans" to the market and overall quality deteriorated badly.

Secondly, the true Super Tuscans became quite simply unapproachable. An Ornellaia Bolgheri Superiore can easily cost upwards of $400 in a restaurant.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, wine enthusiasts started to shun the use of international varieties looking for a return to the native varieties of a terroir. For all these reasons the moniker is not used as much. The truly greats are still thriving but they don’t necessarily present themselves as Super Tuscans. Tignanello, Sassicaia, Ornellaia, Solaia, Le Pergole Torte are all amazing wines with certain vintages commanding impressive demand and prices."

From an article by Vincent de Rossi - Read more here
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