The term “Super Tuscan” has been used since the 1980s to describe a wine made from grapes indigenous to Tuscany, which may be blended with non-indigenous grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot or Syrah. There is no legal definition for the term “Super Tuscan” in Italian wine law, and these blends fit only under a lower wine classification within the law, because the higher classifications restrict which grapes can be used.
The creation of Super Tuscan wines was in response to local laws that didn’t produce the styles of wines that many winemakers wanted to make—big bold red wines, but instead kept to the tradition of making lighter-style red wines that included white grapes blended into the red wine. Winemakers started to make blends that were unsanctioned by sticking to red grapes only and some blended in grapes like Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon in order to make higher-quality wines.
To add greater complexity to the story of Super Tuscan wines, there are wines recognized in this category that are not blends at all. There are Super Tuscan wines that are 100% Sangiovese or even 100% Syrah. Super Tuscan wines can be identified by the Toscana IGT classification on the label. IGT stands for Indicazione Geografica Tipica which is a legal appellation established in 1992 that recognizes these wines and allows winemakers to be more creative with the grapes used.
The most famous Super Tuscan wine is Tignanello, which was created in 1971 by Antinori. The current vintages are blends of predominantly Sangiovese combined with Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. These wines command a hefty price tag of about $100 per bottle. Not all Super Tuscans command that kind of price.
The Saturday, March 23rd, 2019 2019 tasting at City Vino will feature a Super Tuscan wine: Cacciata Toscana IGT 2014. This wine is predominately Sangiovese, blended with Cabernet Sauvignon and aged for 12 months in French oak. This wine has aromas and flavors of red fruit, violets, chocolate and cinnamon.
In addition to the Super Tuscan, we will be pouring the Vina Robles Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon 2016, which is a blend 55% Cabernet Sauvignon from Creston Valley vineyard, with 29% Cabernet Sauvignon and 16% Petit Verdot from Huerhuero vineyard. This is a full-bodied wine with flavors of cassis, blueberry, cedar, anise and hints of black olives and juniper berries.
Also, City Vino will be pouring the Krum Cabernet Sauvignon 2014. This is a wine from Cabernet Sauvignon grapes farmed in the Struma Valley, located in southwestern Bulgaria. This wine has aromas and flavors of blackberries, black currants, peppercorns along with cedar and vanilla notes.