Guided Tasting: The Super Tuscan
Super Tuscan: The Wine that was created by breaking the law.
“Innovation sometimes starts with breaking the law” – Wiine.Me
Have you ever had a Chianti from the Tuscan region of Italy? Before 1990 wine law stated that a Chianti could only have up to 70% of the grape sangiovese and had to contain 10% of one of the indigenous white wine varietals. If you changed this basic recipe…you could not call your wine ‘Chianti’ and would instead be designated as Italy’s lowest wine designation vino da tavola.
Back in the day (in the 1970s and 80s) some Italian producers were sick of the low quality Chiantis being churned out. They decided to color outside the lines and produce wines that didn’t conform to these regulations, sometimes blending in ‘international varietals’ from France like Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc or even making 100% Syrah. These lowly vino da tavoloas were fetching prices far higher than the Chianti wines and thus the term Super Tuscan was born.
The first ’Super Tuscan’ was created by Antinori in 1971. This wine was a blend of 80% Sangiovese, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 5% Cabernet Franc. The most famous Super Tuscan is probably Sassicaia – which was upgraded to DOC status in 1994.
What you have in your glass (Wait, you have no more wine? Pour yourself a glass…this is a wine tasting after all!) is a Super Tuscan made of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, and 10% Cabernet Franc.
Ready to taste this rebel of a wine? Let’s get started!