The History of Super Tuscan Wines
The delicious produce that comes from Tuscany is just one of the many things that make this part of Italy such a popular tourist destination. Because of this, anyone who decides to visit this beautiful region will certainly want to try some of the most iconic, locally sourced products on offer – and this is likely to include Super Tuscan wines.
What is Super Tuscan wine?
This unofficial category of wine earned the title of ‘Super Tuscan’ in the 1980’s to help it to better be identified by connoisseurs. This variant typically offers a unique red blend that helps it to stand apart from other types of Tuscan wines, such as Chianti. It is the use of specialist grapes that aren’t indigenous to Italy that helps these types of beverages to be categorised in this way.
Typically, any red wines from Tuscany that are made from non-indigenous grapes (like Sangiovese, Cabernet Franc and Syrah) fall under the Super Tuscan umbrella.
The creation of these drinks
The invention of this delicious wine category came about in the 1970’s, nearly a decade before being recognised. At the time, many of the Tuscan winemakers were becoming frustrated with the slow bureaucracy in changing the Italian wine laws.
This led some vineyard owners to begin mixing unauthorized varieties of grapes into their blends in order to create quality beverages. The law eventually changed in 1992, allowing makers to be more creative – but Super Tuscan varieties were already popular by this point.
Which Super Tuscan wine was the first?
One of the oldest and most popular types is Tignanello, which was created by Antinori in 1971.
This particular offering is a spectacular blend of Sangiovese (80%), Cabernet Sauvignon (15%) and Cabernet Franc (5%). You’re likely to find that it’s not too expensive, with most bottles of Tignanello costing around £62.
There are plenty of other Super Tuscan wines that are great value too, and they can be found in many stores, eateries, bars and more throughout Italy.
Identifying one of these wines
If you’d like to understand why these blends are often considered to be some of Tuscany’s finest, you’ll need to give a bottle or two a taste.
The flavours of these beverages can often vary quite a bit from one another, depending on which grapes are used and the quantity of them. Despite this, it can often be rather easy to identify which ones classify as Super Tuscans.
The Toscana IGT classification will always be on the label of these types of wines, so generally this is all you need to look out for. Also, most of them will have an original name on the bottle (instead of a region or variety name), so this might help you in your search, too.