Super Tuscan Is one of the most unrecognized wines in the Italian wine classification system. Before the 1990's the origin of Super Tuscans was rooted from the restrictive DOC practices of the Chianti zone. Due to certain Regulations the producer could not use Chianti as a name on the wine labels. It would be classified as vino da tavola- Italys' lowest wine designation.
Today, most super Tuscans use the legal appellation of IGT (Indicazione Geografica Tipica), which gives producers more flexibility than Chianti and other Tuscan DOCs and more prestige than vino da tavola. The wines tend to be modern, big and rich—and often carry a price tag of $100 or more a bottle.
Many well known Super Tuscans are based on a "Bordeaux-blend", meaning a combination of grapes typical for Bordeaux (esp. Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot). These grapes are not originally from the region, but imported and planted later. The climate in Tuscany has proven to be very good for these grapes. One of the first successful Super Tuscan based a "Bourdeaux-blend" was Sassicaia, by Tenuta San Guido.
Super-Tuscan wines can range in taste from very good Chianti-like wines to Bordeaux-type or California Cabernet-type wines, depending on the varying amounts of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and so on, and their specific vineyard areas. Decant young (less than ten years old) super-Tuscan wines two or three hours before serving.
So what are Super Tuscan wine? Very simple - they are wines made in Tuscany that are very good to drink and that do not conform to one of the standard wine compositions - meaning the percentage of certain grapes used to make the wine.
Here are a few Super Tuscan wines that I enjoy.
- Ruffino Riserva Ducale Oro Chianti Classico Riserva 2004
- Pio Cesare Barolo 2006
- Frescobaldi Castelgiocondo Brunello 2004
- Carpineto Dogajolo Toscano 2009
- Mazzoni Toscana Rosso 2006
In case you missed it, here's our previous post.
To explore many of our other wines, you can find them here.