A Taste of Terroir 風土的體驗
With at least 70% of Sangiovese, the wines produced in the region is allowed to label themselves as Chianti. A few other grapes are allowed to blend with Sangiovese, even white ones, though white grape varieties are gradually removed by producers. A stricter classification, Chianti Classico defines the regions covering the area between the city of Florence to the north and Siena to the south. 80% of Sangiovese must be needed for the classification. There are three more levels within the classification of Chianti Classico. Annata is the standard wine. Riserva must be aged for 24 months before release. Chianti Classico Gran Selezione must be aged for 30 months and made from a single estate. Note that it is not necessary to be made from a single vineyard.
要在酒標上標示Chianti這法定產區，該酒必須含有最少70％的Sangiovese。另外幾種葡萄亦被允許混入Sangiovese中，包括白葡萄，儘管釀酒師已漸漸減少使用白葡萄。較為嚴謹的Chianti Classico被定義為北至Florence，南至Siena的地區。要達到此分級的標準，80%的Sangiovese是必要的。在此分級下再分為3級，標準的叫做Annata；經過24個月陳年之後再推出的可被劃分為Riserva；Chianti Classico Gran Selezione就必須由單一酒莊釀造及陳年30個月。值得注意的是Chianti Classico Gran Selezione並不一定要由單一葡萄園所製。
Brunello di Montalcino
This classification only permits to use Sangiovese. Alternatively known as Sangiovese Grosso or Brunello, the variety is larger in size, more thick-skinned and more tannic than the Sangiovese used in Chianti. Many believe the slight differences let Brunello di Montalcino have greater aging potential than other Sangiovese-based wines. The traditional winemaking method of Brunello di Montalcino takes a long aging time in vats, usually in Slovenian oaks. It results in tannic, full-bodied and oaky wines. In contrast to “traditionalists”, there are a plenty of “modernists”, making fruitier and more easy-drinking wines. They use small French barrels require less aging time, allowing consumers to drink the wine earlier.
此產區只准許使用Sangiovese。區內葡萄又名Sangiovese Grosso或者Brunello，比Chianti所用的Sangiovese體積較大，皮厚及擁有更多單寧。有人相信這些少量的差別令Brunello di Montalcino比其他同樣Sangiovese為主的酒有更多陳年能力。釀造傳統Brunello di Montalcino需要長時間在大木桶陳年，尤其是斯洛文尼亞大木桶。製成品通常單寧強勁，酒體飽滿及重木桶味。除了傳統派別，當代派提倡使用法國小木桶，希望縮短陳年時間讓消費者早些享用充滿果味及容易入口的佳釀。
Vernaccia di San Gimignano
This is the only white wine region that attains DOCG status within Tuscany. Long before the promotion to DOCG, it was one of the very first wines classified as DOC. The name comes from the major grape, Vernaccia and the beautiful old town San Gimignano. The wines are often golden in colour, dry and crispy. The nose is characterized by the floral notes, followed by ripe citrus fruits and hay.
Vernaccia di San Gimignano是唯一達到DOCG級別的托斯卡納白酒產區。遠早於升級到DOCG之前，它是被最早定義為DOC的產區之一。它的名字取自葡萄Vernaccia及異常美麗的古城San Gimignano。此區的酒是金色為主，入口乾爽，香氣充滿花香，成熟的柑橘果味及稻草。
Vin Santo is surely reminiscent of the amber and medium-bodied sweet wine that gives honey and creamy aroma you tasted last time. Without a doubt, it has long been renowned for the skillful winemaking of dessert wines in an array of styles. As a matter of fact, the sweetness level can be from bone dry, almost like Fino Sherry, to botrytized wines in Sauternes of France and Mosel of Germany. Typical white grape varieties incorporate Trebbiano and Malvasia while Sangiovese may be used to make rose wines.
Vin Santo不禁令人想起琥珀色，中度酒體，帶有蜜糖和奶油味道的甜酒。無可否認的是它以造不同風格的甜酒聞名，但很多人不知道的是酒的甜度亦大有不同，從乾身如Fino Sherry，到如產自法國Sauternes及德國Mosel的貴腐酒也有。區內常見白葡萄有Trebbiano和Malvasia，而Sangiovese亦被用作造粉紅酒。
The use of international grapes in some of the wineries give rise to Super Tuscans, showing the world Italians can also produce excellent wines from non-local varieties. Originally winemakers in Tuscany could only produce wines from local grapes. Mario Incisa della Rocchetta, owner of Tenuta San Guido in Bolgheri, planted Cabernet Sauvignon in his winery to produce Sassicaia. It was a privately consumed wine until being released in 1971 commercially. The excellent quality of the wine shocked the industry as the wine was not made by local grapes, attracting a cult following. The boom urged the authority to create a less restrictive IGT Toscana designation in 1992 and the exclusive Bolgheri Sassicaia DOC in 1994. Italian winemakers then have more opportunities to explore the potential of Tuscany to strive for a perfect cuvee.
超級托斯卡納隨著酒莊使用外國葡萄而冒起，向世界展示意大利人能用非本地葡萄釀造超凡葡萄酒。原本托斯卡納的釀酒師只能使用本土葡萄，但Tenuta San Guido莊主Mario Incisa della Rocchetta決定於Bolgheri的酒莊種植Cabernet Sauvignon去釀造Sassicaia。Sassicaia本來只供私人飲用直至1971年正式推出，它的超卓質素震撼整個業界，讓眾多飲家了解到出色的意大利酒不一定要用意大利葡萄，吸引了一班支持者。超級托斯卡納的熱潮迫使當局於1992年建立較少限制的IGT Toscana及於1994年建立特有的Bolgheri Sassicaia DOC分級，及後意大利釀酒師就有更多機會去探索托斯卡納的潛能及追求完美的佳釀。