What is a Super Tuscan?
In short, A Super Tuscan is a made up phrase for an Italian wine from Tuscany that doesn’t follow the Chianti rules.
The Super Tuscan Rebellion
Super Tuscanis a term coined by Robert Parker. It’s not an official category of wine. In the long history of Italian wine, Super Tuscans are relatively new to the wine world. The wines belong to a category called IGT (Indicazione Geografica Tipical = typical regional wine). IGTs came about in the late 1960s when some Tuscan wine producers decided that the rules and recipe for receiving Chianti DOC certification were too restrictive and wanted more freedom in their winemaking.
The Freedom of Making Super Tuscan Wines
In contrast to Chianti and Chianti Classico, IGTs have very few rules and restrictions. They must have a minimum of 85% grapes from the IGT region they are certified from, but they do not have to indicate on the bottle which grapes are in the blend, nor do the grapes have to be traditional, indigenous Italian varietals. This means that unlike DOC, the IGTs can use Sangiovese, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and a variety of others as long as they were grown locally. The wines can be 100% of one varietal or blended. On the quality and price spectrum they range in between table wines and DOC wines. They can be really cheap or really expensive. The more expensive ones are termed Super Tuscans.
Super Tuscans are a Super Investment
The winemaker has a totally free hand to decide the grape variety, vinification, aging and final blend. This freedom enables the winemaker to show his or her true talent, so Super Tuscans are like their signature. They are great for collectors because their value increases due to the fact that each vintage is a unique expression of the winemaker and once the vintage runs out it is hard to find.
Top 3 Super Tuscan Wines You Should Be Drinking Right Now
(Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc)
(Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc)
Want to Read More About Italian Wines?
Daughters of Wine legacies: Women In Wine
(incl Italy’s own: Nadia Zenato, Silvia Altare, Gaia Gaja and the Antinori Sisters)