Coming from Central Italy, Super Tuscan wine is among the world’s most famous red wine blends. If you love to know more about this excellent quality wine, you are in the right place. This wine article will answer the question: What is Super Tuscan Wine?
What is Super Tuscan Wine?
|Commonly made with
|Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot
|Bold with hints of Fruit and Smoke
|Dry and Acidic
|Sugar Content (per liter)
|Less than 1g
|13.5 to 14% ABV
When it comes to the Tuscan region in Italy, the wine stands out in its array of produce. Along with it is the Super Tuscan wine.
The wine associations do not recognize this type of wine in Italy. However, Super Tuscany wines are widely known if you are into bolder Tuscany wine.
Since this wine is not considered a premium quality due to its unconventional take in mixing Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese, the winemakers decided to settle by naming it with the word ‘super.’ This branding is an effort to differentiate the wine from its other contemporaries.
In its creation, the wine is a way for many winemakers in the region to create and experiment with new combinations of grape varieties.
What Makes Super Tuscan Wine Better than Standard Italian Wine?
To many wine connoisseurs and sommeliers, the Super Tuscan wine is an upgrade to the well-known Italian red wines. It has a higher amount of acidity and closes to zero residual sugar.
The lower amount of sugar means that the drink has a bolder and broader range of flavors. It also serves as an excellent way to lean more into the dryness of the wine.
Moreover, the wine signifies the innovative ways Italian winemakers use their land and produce to explore the art of winemaking. Although the wine grapes came from the appellations of Italy, the super blend uses international grape varieties in their wine.
It results in a greater variety of flavors. Through this new exploration, the Super Tuscan innovated the deep ancient flavors of the Central Tuscany region.
How is Super Tuscan Wine Made?
Although originating from Italy, the Super Tuscan mixes Italian appellations and French wine grape varieties.
Super Tuscan wine is made by mixing Sangiovese, and Italian wine grapes, with French varieties such as Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Most bottles are made with 80% Sangiovese, leading to a rich and bold taste.
Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon interchangeably blend within the bottle. Depending on the winery, they might use either or both wine grape varieties.
Once the grapes are cultivated, they are stored in an oak barrel. The oak process is where the Bordeaux influence comes in. The slow fermentation in the oak wood results in deeper earthy notes in the wine.
Most bottles are in for a minimum of months to many years. This process leads to notes of tobacco and cedar being very apparent. With the hotter climate in the region, you can have an excellent
History of Super Tuscan Wine
Winemaking in Tuscany is an ancient industry. The winemaking industry in the area exceeds many empires and countries in the region. However, the birth of the Super Tuscan wine is relatively recent.
Although many wineries claim to be the first to invent Italian wine, the credit is often attributed to Sassicaia. The winery is the first to use French grape varieties for its wines.
The first commercial boom of the Super Tuscan wine is from the 1970s. It was made using Sangiovese and Merlot to create a more defined and bolder red wine.
Unfortunately, the usage of wine grape varieties not originating in Italy leads to the wine not being recognized by the DOC. DOC is the highest-quality wine in the region. With this, the name ‘Super Tuscan’ is born, courtesy of Burt Anderson.
The name is used as a way to differentiate the wine variety away from other Tuscan wines. Due to its bold and rich flavors, the government later recognized the wine in the 1990s. Since the wineries cannot use the DOC to grade wine grape varieties from France, the birth of IGT is made.
With the new Indicazione Geografica Tipica (IGT), wine made from other international wine varieties, such as Merlot, is now recognized. Although Super Tuscan wine is still not recognized by the DOC, it’s still one of the most sought-after blends in the area.
Taste and Appearance of Super Tuscan Wine
Just like with many Tuscan wines, the Super Tuscan wine is also known for its deep and bold red color. This is due to the higher number of tannins in the drink, producing more red pigment.
When it comes to taste, the Super Tuscan wine is known for its deep and rich flavors. With hints of smoky, fruity, and acidity, the wine is an excellent option for those who love a dry, full-bodied red wine.
Most high-quality Super Tuscan wine has less than one gram of sugar. Due to its unsweetened nature, the beverage tends to be stronger in flavor and light on the palate.
Due to its fermentation, it also tends to have deep cedar and oak notes. The bottle has become a favorite pairing with meat dishes with the subtleness of black fruits such as plums and blueberries.
How to Drink Super Tuscan Wine
Let the Wine Breathe
Robust red wines, such as Super Tuscan, let the wine aerate for a while will significantly help the bold flavors of the wine. By allowing the oxygen to seep through the drink, you can have a lesser bold flavor and a more excellent aroma.
The number of tannins can also be minimized, making the flavor note more prominent. Depending on the year of the vintage, you might also need to decant your wine before drinking.
Excellent with Meat
Super Tuscan wine is known for its high tannins as an excellent pair to meats. Made with some of the most famous red wine grapes, such as Merlot, this super blend provides a perfect way to cut the grease from the meat. Drinking the Tuscan blend leads to better flavors and umami.
Try it with Italian Favorites
Coming from the land of Italy, it’s not surprising that this bottle of Italian wine will go along with their cuisine. Certain pasta dishes from the area, such as the famous lasagna and spaghetti, will be excellent partners with Super Tuscan wine.
Since most typical Italian dishes are made with pasta, tomatoes, and meat, the wine’s acidity can complement the food well. With its high number of tannins, your favorite Italian meat dish can also be an excellent way to break down fats.
Perfect for Spicy Food
Finding a wine that can cut through the intense hotness and tongue-numbing flavor of spicy food is difficult. Whether Thai or Indian food, the Super Tuscan wine can be an excellent pair.
The firm acidity and boldness of the wine can cut through the spices. It can be an excellent way to cleanse your palate as an after-meal wine.
Super Tuscan Wines You Should Try
Now that we know the background and ways to enjoy the Super Tuscan wine, let’s get into four bottles you can try. Ranging in taste and price, there is a starter bottle for everyone.
1. Sassicaia Tenuta San Guido
Regarding classics, Sassicaia is the prime brand for the Super Tuscany Wine. The winery is the first to produce the blend commercially, leading to its success internationally.
The winery offers its wine vintage from around the dawn of the 1970s to 2017, according to its website. The blend has everything you will love about Super Tuscan. With bold rich flavors and an excellent dryness, this bottle is a perfect introduction to Italian wine.
2. Cooper’s Hawk Winery Super Tuscan
This bottle from Coper’s Hawk Winery is a great option if you want a more inexpensive yet excellent blend of Super Tuscan wine. This bottle is known for its potent combination of earthy and fruity flavors. This is a perfect wine to finish the meal if you have any meat dish, such as steak or lamb.
3. 2015 Arceno Valadorna Toscana
Although on the pricier side, this bottle from Arceno is among the highest-rated Super Tuscan wines in the world. It has a nice blend of earthy oak and blueberry flavors. The smooth mouthfeel of the wine is also a hit among many.
Suppose you want a more medium-bodied Super Tuscan rather than going high with the tannins. With that said, this blend is perfect for some cheese and poultry meat.
4. 2018 Santa Cristina Toscana
Not all Super Tuscan wine must be pricey. This 2018 bottle from Santa Cristina is here to serve an inexpensive yet well-loved wine.
This one is slightly lighter and smoother than other Super Tuscan bottles. Nonetheless, it still packs the blend of fruity and smoky oak notes known from the mixture.
This article is perfect if you love Super Tuscan wine or want to know more about it. With its end answering the question: What is Super Tuscan wine? Get a bottle, try it out now, and learn more about the Italian red wine classic.
George Moore, co-founder of Wine Flavor Guru, is a charismatic entrepreneur with a rich background in California’s wine industry. Alongside Sylvia, he transformed a Sonoma County vineyard into a source of premium wines. George’s expertise in sourcing exceptional grapes and his approachable style make wine appreciation both accessible and engaging.