Dear Wine Master,
What makes a wine a Super Tuscan?
In my usual contrary way I will answer your question by relating what a Super Tuscan is NOT!!
A Super Tuscan wine is not a wine that fits into the quality designations set up under Italian wine laws. For a rather fuller description of these quality marks please look at the ‘Wine Ratings’ page at Wine Regions of Italy.
Many, but not all ”Super Tuscan” wines originate from the Chianti Classico region. The first Super Tuscan was Sassicaia, although the term was not in use at the time. This wine appeared commercially in 1968. Sassicaia is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc.
In the early seventies, Piero Antinori and his winemaker created Tignanello. This Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese blend was designed to demonstrate the true potential of such blends that DOCG regulations would not allow. The rules were circumvented by labelling it not as a ”Chianti,” but as Vino da Tavola, or ”table wine,” even though the pricing was that of a premium wine. Now virtually all major Chianti producers have a Super Tuscan label in their portfolios.
So, you see, it’s all to do with the law! Enjoy your Super Tuscans.