There are so many different types of phrases used to describe different types of wine. Some of these phrases, such as claret, don’t actually describe a type of grape, either.
They are often used to describe a particular wine that was made in a particular place, such as Super Tuscan wine.
But with so many different words used to describe so many different wines, it can be confusing knowing what they all mean.
So what is Super Tuscan wine? And how can you tell the difference between Tuscan wine and Super Tuscan wine?
That’s the question that we’re going to answer for you today! We’re going to cover everything you need to know about Super Tuscan wines, how to identify them, and what makes them so special.
So let’s find out all there is to know about Super Tuscan wines so that you can become a veritable expert by the end of this article!
What Makes A Wine A Super Tuscan Wine?
So what exactly is a Super Tuscan wine? The term Super Tuscan wine was coined way back in the 70s to describe a red wine that has come from Tuscany, in Italy.
This was because wineries were producing high quality red wines using grapes that didn’t necessarily fall under the Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC) classification that was used at the time.
It’s all to do with the grapes that they were using at the time. These wineries were making use of grapes that weren’t native to the region, so they couldn’t fall under the DOC classification for these reasons.
Most Super Tuscan wines would make use of grapes such as Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot, alongside the Sangiovese grapes which are considered to be classic to Tuscany.
Generally speaking, a Super Tuscan wine will be full bodied, rich, have lots of spice from the oak barrels the wine has been stored in, as well as lots of tannins from the array of grapes used to craft the Super Tuscan wine.
If you were to look for a bottle of Super Tuscan wine on the wine list, you could be paying a couple of hundred dollars depending on the vintage.
So How Does A Chianti Differ From A Super Tuscan Wine?
As well as Super Tuscan wines, Chianti is another red wine that is made in Tuscany. So how can you tell the difference between them? It all comes down to the classification of the wine.
This is because in order for a red wine to be classed as Chianti, it needs to use around 80% Sangiovese grapes, and have these grapes grown in one of the several Chianti approved areas around Arezzo, Sienna, Florence.
However, your standard Super Tuscan wine doesn’t have to follow the strict rules that are outlined for Chianti wines. They can vary the grapes that they use, as well as the quantities that they use them in.
You can typically tell whether a wine has been classed as a Super Tuscan wine because it will be labeled IGT.
The IGT designation is something that started around 2013, which shows that the quality level differs from that of a Chianti.
However, this doesn’t mean that your Super Tuscan wine will be any cheaper than an official Chianti – quite the opposite, in fact. Super Tuscan wines are often some of the most expensive wines on the menu.
What Is The Difference Between A Tuscan And Super Tuscan Wine?
So we now know that the main difference between a Tuscan wine and a Super Tuscan wine is in the grapes that are used.
For example, a Chianti is classed as a Tuscan wine because it uses at least 80% Sangiovese grapes and has been grown in designated Chianti areas in Italy.
Super Tuscan wines, on the other hand, don’t follow rules that are as strict, so the wineries have more freedom when it comes to how they can make them.
What Does Super Tuscan Wine Taste Like?
Seeing as there is a less strict classification for Super Tuscan wines, the flavor of the wine can differ from winery to winery.
As for a classic thread between these wines, you can typically notice a certain spiciness that comes from the oak barrels that the wine is usually aged in during the winemaking process.
Flavors typically range from fruity notes of plums and cherries, as well as the individual tasting notes that are dictated by the grapes used for the wine.
You should be able to find tasting notes of the particular Super Tuscan wine that you are hoping to purchase to get a better idea of what you can expect.
For example, if you were to purchase a bottle of the Castello di Fonterutoli “Siepi” Toscana IGT, you would get notes of plum, cherry, crushed violets, candied rose petal, chalk dust, lavender, baking spice, fennel pollen, roasted hazelnut, cassis, and macadamia nut.
And there you have it! You now know that a Super Tuscan wine is a term that was used to describe red wines that have been made in Tuscany, Italy, and don’t necessarily contain grapes that are native to the region.
The term was coined in the 70s because wineries that used this method to produce their red wines weren’t able to use the DOC classification for their wines.
The vast majority of Super Tuscan wines make use of non-native grape varieties, such as Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot alongside the native grape of Sangiovese.
The very best Super Tuscan wines tend to be full bodied, rich, have a certain spiciness added to them from the oak barrels that they are aged in, and they also tend to have lots of tannins.
Which Super Tuscan wine will you opt for? Or do you have a certain favorite that you just love to enjoy every now and then?
No matter which bottle of Super Tuscan wine that you opt for, it will give you an interesting insight into the variety of red wines on offer from Italy.