by Andrew Chalk
The problem with wine classifications that regulate beyond geographical boundaries is sclerosis. There is no better example than Tuscany, in northern Italy, where unbending regulators became so divorced from reality that producers just went around them to create the highest priced classification in the region. A classification defined not by a law, or regulation, but by the market.
Some creative writer (I know not who) anointed the wines with the catchy sobriquet ‘Super Tuscan’, and a new type was born. The acclaim, all merited, was a tribute to Italian enological innovation. Ultimately, it cured the sclerosis in the official system and rules were changed to make long-established categories like Chianti first class wines on the world stage once again.
A Super Tuscan
Want to try a Super Tuscan? This is the real thing. A seductive blend of Italy’s glorious sangiovese with merlot. The winemaker’s tasting notes are:
“Lucente 2020 shows a brilliant ruby red color. The nose is rich in black fruits such as blueberries and blackberries, accompanied by a light balsamic and pan brioché note. The palate is soft, supported by a nice freshness, with enveloping tannins and a long fruity aftertaste.”
I would add that the palate is complex and powerful. And this wine is so well structured that it will age for a decade or more.
More information on the vintage from the winery…
”Winter was mainly dry and mild leading to an early but homogeneous budding of the plants
starting from the second week of March for Sangiovese and from the third week for Merlot.
Spring was sunny, accompanied by some rains in May and June, favoring the course of an
excellent flowering, which took place slightly earlier in the last week of May. Summer was hot
and dry with good temperature ranges between day and night. In the last week of August, two
very precious rains brought relief to the plants and lowered temperatures, allowing the vines to
complete grape ripening. The harvest began on the third of September in ideal conditions, with
sunny days without heat peaks. These conditions resulted in grapes of excellent quality, with
excellent phenolic ripeness and great aromatic balance.”
TECHNICAL INFORMATION FROM THE WINERY
MACERATION ON THE SKINS: 20 days
TOTAL BOTTLES PRODUCED: 400,000
Merlot: September 3
Sangiovese: September 18
SUGAR AT HARVEST: Merlot: 250 g/l, Sangiovese: 248 g/l
TOTAL ACIDITY AT HARVEST: Merlot: 6.70 g/l; Sangiovese 7.10 g/l
PH AT HARVEST: Merlot: 3.46; Sangiovese 3.30
FERMENTATION TANKS: Stainless steel thermo-conditioned
FERMENTATION TEMPERATURE: 28°C
FERMENTATION DURATION: 10 days
MALOLACTIC FERMENTATION: Done in steel
TYPE OF CONTAINER USED FOR AGING: Barrique partly new partly used
AGING: 12 Months
BOTTLING: July 2022
ALCOHOL: 14.00% Vol.
TOTAL ACIDITY: 5.94 g/l