Wine culture Tuscany has given us, over the centuries, many examples of fantastic wines, with strong or delicate tastes, with important reputations or lesser-known names.
Among the many we are pleased to mention the Brunello di Montalcino and the Red, But in Tuscany, wine is still a serious business.
Among the many examples that populate the region, the Supertuscan wines are a constant of flavor and novelty, known throughout Italy and highly appreciated even by the most discerning palates.
In this article we will therefore deepen our knowledge of this type of wine, coming to grips with a decades-old tradition.
What are Supertuscan wines and why this term is used
Supertuscan wines are a type of wine produced in Tuscany whose definition depends on the disrespect for traditions at the wine production stage. Therefore, grape varieties other than Sangiovese are used, and therefore cannot enjoy the DOCG designation.
The grape varieties that are usually used in the development of a Supertuscan wine are Cabernet Sauvignon, and the wine that and is extracted is aged in oak barrels for up to 14 months.
The story behind the choice of the name "Super tuscan" is rather curious.
After a less-than-optimal reception in the Italian market, these products came to foreign countries, where the press affixed to them the term Supertuscan precisely for define the extraordinary nature of these Tuscan wines.
The name became popular starting in the mid-1980s, although the wines themselves were born much earlier.
It can be said, therefore, that. the term "Supertuscan wines" referred mainly to wines that have enjoyed an excellent international reputation, being appreciated mainly abroad and not in Italy.
A brief history of Supertuscan wines
The tradition associated with the out-of-the-box production of the Supertuscan wine is to be found at the late 1960s.
In those days, wine producers had to follow severe restrictions if they wanted their product to obtain the AOC designation, and so experimentation was practically reduced to the bone.
Among the first to break this production taboo was a Marquis of the area, who decided to try new pairings and new production processes to create a new wine.
What could be described as the forerunner of Supertuscans was the Sassicaia wine, which would shortly thereafter launch an experimental production style.
The most innovative thing in the first production of Supertuscan wines, therefore, was precisely the use of native grape varieties and not Sangiovese. This was the first step in breaking away from DOC restrictions.
How to recognize a good Super Tuscan wine
The Supertuscan wine is a wine that is now part of the Tuscan winemaking tradition. It is an often full-bodied wine that leaves no room for ancient traditionalisms. Recognizing it is not difficult, and if you think about it all you have to do is look at the label.
The addition or total exchange of Cabernet Sauvignon to the classic Sangiovese is one of the elements of recognition of an excellent Supertuscan, being precisely the basic concept on which the creation of these internationally renowned wines is based.
In addition to Sauvignon, the following have also been introduced over time. different grape varieties, far from the ancient tradition for Tuscan wine production.
The presence of all these differences contributed, over time, to the foundation of Supertuscans as they are known today.
Below is a list of the main Supertuscan wines and the vines used in their production.
- Sassicaia, the forerunner of the Supertuscan wines (Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc)
- Tiganello (Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese)
- Solaia (Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Sangiovese)
- Ornellaia (Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot)
We hope you enjoyed our in-depth study of Supertuscan wines.
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