“Don’t wait. The time will never be just right”

- Mark Twain

Italy’s Best Super Tuscan Wines

italys-best-super-tuscan-wines

Italy’s Best Super Tuscan Wines – Starting in the 1970s, some Chianti-region wine producers felt that the DOC government labels allowed for lower-quality wine and prevented experimentation. Super Tuscan wines arose from this experimentation, which typically involved blends with international grape varieties – especially Bordeaux grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc, as opposed to only Italian grapes like Sangiovese, Canaiolo Nero and Ciliegiolo.

However, some Super Tuscan wines contain mostly Italian or 100 percent Italian grapes, with the difference coming down to other factors like how long they were aged and the aging process used. The year 1992 brought in the official term Indicazione Geografica Tipica (IGT), and in time, IGT Toscana became synonymous with the product known as a Super Tuscan wine.

There is wide variety with the quality and taste of Italy’s Super Tuscan wines, but they have been exceedingly popular since the 1980s; many have come to make a name for themselves.


Making Red Wine


how-to-make-italys-best-super-tuscan-wines

Italy’s Best Super Tuscan Wines – Tuscan Wine Region


Italy’s Best Super Tuscan Wines – The province of Tuscany is home to deeply rolling hillsides and winding country roads, with its western side facing the Tyrrhenian and Ligurian seas and its eastern side sitting high in the Apennine Mountains. This region has been known for its wine production for hundreds of years, especially for its production of red wines like Chianti and Brunello di Montalcino.

The climate has rich diversity, with typically Mediterranean warmth along the coastal regions and cooler inland temperatures that match the rise in elevation. Sangiovese grapes make up the majority of vineyard plantings, but other Italian grapes like Canaiolo Nero and Ciliegiolo feature as well. Since the 1970s, international grape varieties have become more common.

Tuscany has several red wine-producing regions: Montepulciano and Montalcino in the south, Chianti in the north-central part, and the Tuscan Coast that includes Bolgheri and Maremma. San Gimignano is found within the Chianti region and primarily focuses on white wine. Of these regions, Chianti and Bolgheri in the Tuscan Coast produce the most extensive array of Super Tuscan wines.

“Super Tuscan” is a term used to describe red wines from Tuscany that may include non-indigenous grapes, particularly Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah. The creation of super Tuscan wines resulted from the frustration winemakers had towards a slow bureaucracy in changing Italy’s wine law during the 1970s.


Super-Tuscans-Fontodi-Flaccianello-della-Pieve-Colli-della-Toscana-Centrale-IGT-2015

Fontodi Flaccianello della Pieve Colli della Toscana Centrale IGT 2015
Tuscany, Italy, $150
Rating 96

2015 was a relief after 2014. Manetti describes it as an almost perfect vintage: the summer was warmer than usual with lots of sunshine, but it was never too hot and rain fell at the right moments. It’s surprisingly open on the nose, where sweet earth, dark cherry, grilled thyme and baking spice aromas unfold. The palate is full and voluptuous, with succulent fruits coated by firm tannins. This just needs time to take shape and it will reveal its more subtle complexities after a few years in the cellar.

Flaccianello combines all the wild and old-world characteristics of the Sangiovese grape with the modern vinification techniques of what may be the top winemaking house in Tuscany today. The vineyards from which this wine takes its name continues to produce a Sangiovese of superior quality year on year. Made with 100% Sangiovese.


Super-Tuscan-Tenuta-San-Guido-Sassicaia-2017

Tenuta San Guido Sassicaia 2016, $220
Bordeaux Red Blends from Bolgheri, Tuscany, Italy
Rating 96

This wine is chiseled and sharp with blackberry, ripe cherry, grilled herb and barbecue spice. The aromas flow from the glass in a continuous stream and are all marked by radiant intensity. The mouthfeel is long and powerful. The crisp linearity of the wine’s tannic backbone is perfectly measured to the volume and depth of the fruit flavors.

Blend: 85 % Cabernet Sauvignon 15 % Cabernet Franc

Pair with rich flavors like braised meats, osso bucco and aged, hard cheeses.


Super-Tuscan-Antinori-Solaia-2017

Antinori Solaia 2015, $400
Tuscan Blends from Tuscany, Italy
Rating 96

Deep ruby red in color, the nose of this red wine offers ample notes of blackberries, black currants and hints of fresh mint. The bouquet lends spicy aromas of white pepper, toasted cinnamon and cocoa. Rich and mouth-filling palate; soft, velvety, tannins impart a lengthy finish and aftertaste where toasty notes reappear.
Blend: 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Sangiovese, 8% Cabernet Franc


Italy’s Best Super Tuscan Wines – 95 Points


Super-Tuscan-Antinori-Tignanello-2017

Antinori Tignanello 2016, $150
Tuscan Blends from Tuscany, Italy
Rating 95

Ruby red in color, 2017 Tignanello offers aromas of ripe red fruits which complement delicate aromas of cloves and licorice; sweet notes of mint and chocolate complete its complex bouquet. The palate is rich and vibrant with velvety tannins. Its lengthy finish and aftertaste bring back aromatic notes perceived on the nose.

Blend: 80% Sangiovese, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc


Super-Tuscan-Tua-Rita-Redigaffi-Toscana-2017

Tua Rita Redigaffi Toscana 2016, $300
Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
Rating 95

Redigaffi has an intense color that arouses enthusiasm and satisfy the sight, it highlights great complexity characterized by the fruity attack in the mouth leaving then “room” to tobacco and liquorice notes. Good concentration given by the pre-harvesting activity, three passages and perfect maturation reached by our grapes.

Outstanding complexity. Floral notes typical of our “Macchia Mediterranea” are intense and persistent. The elegance of tannins is enhanced by the great structure and balance. Considerable extraction and good acidity.


Super-tuscan-Tenuta-Guado-al-Tasso

Tenuta Guado al Tasso 2015, $135
Bordeaux Red Blends from Bolgheri, Tuscany, Italy
Rating 95

Guado al Tasso 2015 is intensely ruby red in color. Its nose is intact, clean and powerful and has hints of small red ripe fruits such as raspberries, wild strawberries, arbutus, wild blackberries and pleasant notes of laurel and mint. Its entry on the palate is soft, voluminous and persistent with a tannic texture that is dense and silky. Remarkable for its extraordinary balance and equilibrium between power and grace. This vintage can be enjoyed now but also possesses excellent aging potential for years to come.


Super-Tuscan-Ornellaia-2017

Ornellaia 2016, $250
Bordeaux Red Blends from Bolgheri, Tuscany, Italy
Rating 95

The Ornellaia 2017 masterfully interprets what was a particularly warm and sunny year. The intense and dark color heralds a wine of beautiful concentration; the nose, rich and complex, releases scents of ripe red fruits, accompanied by notes of sweet tobacco and vanilla. The taste reveals an Ornellaia of great balance, a combination of firmness and pleasant freshness.

Blend: 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot, 9% Cabernet Franc


Super-Tuscan-Tenuta-di-Biserno-Biserno-2016

Tenuta di Biserno Biserno 2016, $160
Other Red Blends from Tuscany, Italy
Rating 95

Biserno shows immediately its quality with taste of impeccable cherry, blackberry and dark prune flavors. It presents savory spice and tobacco framed with precision and focus. There is no doubt that this is one of the best editions of Biserno.
Pair with braised or roasted meats and hard cheeses.


Masseto Massetino 2018, $310
Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
Rating 95

Harvested under ideal conditions, the vintage 2018 is characterized by its particularly harmonious and balanced profile. Massetino shows a dark, purple-tinged ruby colour. The nose is very expressive, dominated by vibrant and ripe cherry fruit, spicy and balsamic overtones and a touch of toasty oak. The palate is elegant, with a seamless and silky texture, polished tannins that support a bright and pure expression of fruit. The finish shows hints of vanilla that lead into a minerally sensation of freshness.

Blend: 94% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc


Tenuta di Trinoro Toscana IGT, 2016 $290
Tuscany, Italy
Rating 95

Palazzi this vintage is made of Merlot from a single vineyard we call Strada Vecchia, all from our first day of harvest on the 24th of September. In the glass it shows white aromas of spring, the way prunes are white to the eye when they blossom in March. The wine manages to fill the palate completely, then it gets fat and points downwards to a brutal earthiness.


Italy’s Best Super Tuscan Wines – 94 Points


Querciabella, Camartina, 2015, $170
Tuscany, Italy
Rating 94

Camartina is from Querciabella’s home-base vineyards which rise from 350 to 600 metres in the windy area of Ruffoli. Stylish in a very buttoned-up manner, it is rather understated and sneaky in its charms. Seductive scents of toast, blackberry, cherry and Mediterranean herbs emerge with coaxing and eventually take hold. Creamy in texture with long, velvety tannins and a juicy core, this offers exceptional freshness for the vintage and promising length.


Italy’s Best Super Tuscan Wines – 93 Points


Super-Tuscan-Tenuta-Luce-2017

Tenuta Luce 2016, $100
Tuscan Blends from Tuscany, Italy
Rating 93

Notes of black currants, blueberries and berries are interwoven with beautifully integrated nuances of vanilla and spices from oak aging. On the palate, this full-bodied wine gives the impression of richness and warmth, with a long finish. The well-structured tannins are velvety and supple, ensuring continued development of complexity in the bottle.


More on Italian Red Wine >>

Less Expensive Super Tuscan Wines >>

Italian Cheeses >>

Great Pasta Dishes >>

Locate Italian Wines >>


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.