Cabernet sauvignon - Wine Regions - Italy (2)
The use of Cabernet Sauvignon in Tuscany has been a topic of debate due to its involvement in the emergence of Super Tuscans during the 1970s. The creation of Super Tuscans was influenced by the strict regulations governing the DOC Chianti until the 1990s, which required that Chianti wine contain a maximum of 70% Sangiovese and at least 10% of a local white grape variety.
Adhering to DOC regulations prevents Tuscan winemakers from producing higher quality wines, especially if they were allowed to use Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend and were not required to use white grape varieties.
Piero Antinori was one of the pioneers in creating a Chianti-style wine ignoring the DOC regulations, by introducing Tignanello in 1978, a blend of Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon.
After the introduction of Super Tuscans, other wine producers also began mixing Cabernet Sauvignon with Sangiovese, leading to an increase in prices that could compete with the more popular Chianti wines.
This trend spread to other regions of Tuscany, and some even produced varietal versions of the blend. Over time, the DOC system recognized the popularity of this grape variety and allowed more regions to use it in their wines.
Tuscan Cabernet Sauvignon is known for its ripe cherry flavor that can create a sweet impression along with powerful notes of blackcurrant. These wines usually contain 14% alcohol but retain a notable level of acidity.
If combined with Sangiovese in significant amounts, Cabernet Sauvignon can dominate the blend, and winemakers must find a balance to achieve their preferred style.