What it comes to your mind when you hear “Super Tuscan” wine?
For me, it was iconic Italian wines such as Sassicaia, Solaia, Tignanello, etc. Expensive too, 100, 300, 1000+ euro per bottle. Then in a store, I’ve seen a bottle which cost 30$ and had a label I wasn’t familiar with. Ok, not all of them are expensive.
So what is Super Tuscan wine?
First of all, it is wine made of non-indigenous grapes, particularly Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Syrah. “Non-indigenous” means not naturally grow in a particular region or environment. In fact, these vines were imported to Tuscany from France. Today winemakers use a lot of native Sangiovese as well.
Another interesting fact that this category was born as a protest against strict rules in the winemaking process approximately 50 years ago. Producers wanted to experiment, create new blends, grow vines outside of the outlined areas, but the government wouldn’t allow that. Unless you’d agree that your wine would be labeled as “table wine”, synonym to poor quality.
Producers used the term “Super Tuscan” to distinguish their exceptional product from cheap, low-quality wines.
But be careful! There is no official term “Super Tuscan”. It’s kind of journalistic saying, to make the concept comprehensible to people. When you see “Super Tuscan” on the label, it might be anything but that. Just another marketing move to sell stuff on a higher price.
Real Super Tuscans are just known.