Whether you call them a Super Tuscan or an IGT blend, rich red blends from Tuscany provide everything from great values to high priced cult legends. The 2006 Aia Vecchia Lagone falls into the value category at $18 and is a blend of mostly Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon with 5% Cabernet Franc.
So what is a “Super Tuscan?”
Originally Super Tuscan’s were declassified Chiantis because they failed to follow the DOC (and then DOCG) requirements for grape blends and aging. Many winemakers at the time (1970′s) felt that Chianti wines were becoming too watered down and not showing the true class and structure that the region could provide. This philosophy brought in new non typical grapes into the blends such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc to provide increased structure and complexity. Although many of the wines were still of superior quality, not following the rules brought these wines down to Vini da Tavola status or basic table wine. In 1992 to give some status and classification to these wine the Indicazione Geografica Tipica (IGT) was formed. Although still not carrying the same status as DOC or DOCG wines, it was better than being called table wine. Funny enough current DOCG rules for Chianti and the sub regions of Chianti allow for up to 15% of these grapes that 30 years ago were not allowed.
My tasting notes for the 2006 Aia Vecchia Lagone
Nose: fig newton, leather, black currant, sun-dried tomatoes
Taste: black currant, fig, pie dough, black cherry, prune, crayon
Mouthfeel: full bodied but tight, strong leathery tannins
Finish: long with lots of depth and flavor
A very delicious wine, but kind of all over the place. It is still a young wine in many ways and needs some time to pull itself together at which time it will definitely shine. That being said it tastes great now and will delight most non-discriminating drinkers early, but given another year or two I feel it’ll show much better.