We can also call them “not DOCG red wine”, but what does Super Tuscan really mean and where does the name come from? Here’s 5 things you need to know about these atypical wines.
- Sassicaia is the forerunner of all the Super Tuscan wines
Have you ever heard of Sassicaia? It’s the V.I.P. of Italian wines, the star that everybody would like to try at least once in lifetime. Created in Castagneto Carducci in the sixties, Sassicaia vineyards were planted by Marquis Incisa della Rocchetta on an impervious and rocky hill. Nobody believed it would become the most famous wine of Italy. The Marquis decided not to follow the procedural guidelines, using grapes coming from Bordeaux and avoiding Sangiovese. Sassicaia didn’t acquire the name of Super Tuscan, but he’s the grandfather of this group of new and precious wines.
The “Super Tuscan” label was first given by an American
Since they didn’t respect guidelines and were a brand new idea, Italian people didn’t like Super Tuscan wines at the beginning. Beside that, they became very famous and appreciated outside of our peninsula, especially in the U.S.A. Here’s where the name "Super Tuscan" comes from and it was probably created by the American wine critic Robert Parker, who was the first in recognizing the value of these new wines.
The first official Super Tuscan is the Tignanello
Marquis Antinori’s wine, also known as Tignanello, was the first wine that acquired the attribution of Super Tuscan in the seventies. It was a blend of Sangiovese and a 15% of Cabernet Sauvignon. Born as an experiment, this wine was soon followed by other new blends, such as Siepi, Solaia and Ornellaia. It is today considered a cornerstone for Italian wines and it’s appreciated all over the world. Nowadays this blend is composed by 80% of Sangiovese, 15% of Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc.
In the past, they were considered just table wines
Super Tuscan wines were revolutionary, because they mixed the traditional Sangiovese with French grapes. Since they are not DOC (Denomination of Controlled Origin) or DOCG (Denomination of Controlled and Guaranteed Origin) wines, but simply IGT (Indicazione Geografica Tipica, it indicates a wine from a specific region within Italy) instead, Italians didn’t want to consider them as the best blends, drinking them as normal table wines. However, the idea of mixing Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot or Syrah with the traditional grape of the region was soon seen as an innovative and brilliant idea and made its way through the peninsula as well.
Not only an innovative blend
If you want to create a Super Tuscan, however, you can’t just mix Sangiovese with other types of grapes. What characterize these wines are also the story of their vineyards, their soul and the territory where they were planted. In a nutshell, if you want to know what a Super Tuscan is and what’s the difference between a Chianti Classico and a Super Tuscan, you have to taste it in the place where it has been created. You have to talk to the people who made it, to know their story and the story of the soil where the vineyard is set.
Our Chianti Tour offers a unique experience in two different wineries, where you will be able to know the story behind them and, of course, taste the amazing Chianti Classico and Riserva that our region offers. If you are interested in trying Super Tuscan wines too, you can write to our tailor-made section or visit our website.