Famous “Super Tuscan” wines are valuable wines that can be recognized by their important names, which even non-drinkers know: Sassicaia, Masseto, Tignanello and Ornellaiaare just some examples.
What is the real meaning of “Super Tuscan” wines?
This name was used in Tuscany in the 1980’s for the wines which are different from the usual famous wines of the same region. They needed a name for a great wine and set it apart at the same time from the other great wines from Tuscany: Chianti, Nobile di Montepulciano or Brunello. A difference of these “Super Wines”, which had an immediate good taste, was that they were produced using grapes that were at that time unusual for Tuscany: Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah.
This term, as it was to begin with, is still used nowaday to mention wines which are made with grapes that are not indigenous.
We can easily say that “Super Tuscan” name, which is now overused both in Italy and abroad, was created to fill a linguistic vacuum and the need to find the perfect term to indicate the strength of those wines.
The term started being used in the 1960’s, probably thanks to those oenologists who felt trapped in the bureaucratic disciplinary rules, which forced them to use only indigenous grapes, while blends were not considered interesting by the more traditionalists or the wine business operators at that time.
It was a period of research and experimentation: oenologists wanted to improve existing productions with the objective of creating new wines that could compete with French wineries who were masters in using international grape blends. It is well known in Italy, that human fantasy and experimentation is often fighting with bureaucracy, that adapts its rules only at the end.
Take for example the history of wines like “Tignanello” or “Sassicaia” and many others where the blend of grapes includes international and indigenous grapes.
In order to select a “Super Tuscan” winelist it is not enough to read the name but you have to taste the wine.
Taste the wine in your glass and should you feel a sudden gasp or an absolute pleasure, then you are probably drinking one of the famous “Super Tuscan”. Watch your wallet because this kind of wines are certainly not cheap, especially if we are talking about the usual famous brands.
You must be careful of what you read on the labels and check the brand’s history. There is always the risk to buy a bottle with a fake label. Do not follow only the brand, probably only a few people know that in Italy you can find “Super Tuscan” wines that do not have a famous brand but still the wine is of very high quality.
The mission of Papawine is a continuous research of high quality wines in every corner of Italy.
We are able to help you to source the wines you need and can at same time guarantee quality and “Made in Italy”.