Understanding Italy: Super Tuscans

Super Tuscans are wines made in Tuscany, outside of the well known Chianti and lesser known Tuscan regions DOC guidelines.  In the 1970s winemakers wanted to experiment with blending Sangiovese (the main regional variety) with the noble grapes of Bordeaux (and in a few cases Syrah from the south of France too).

As they were outside of the DOC guidelines for winemaking, at the time the winemakers were forced to put the designation VdT on these wines, but after wide acclaim and the introduction of the IGT level of designation, were able to move from Vdt to IGT, winning more recognition.

Super Tuscans are a great example of how the lack of DOCG on an Italian wine doesn’t mean it isn’t good or of value.  In fact, many Super Tuscans can fetch bottle prices exceeding the $100/bottle mark.

Due to the flexibility of the IGT laws, Super Tuscans can range in a wide variety of blends and styles, some being 100% Sangiovese, some being Sangiovese blended with Cabernet Sauvignon and/or Merlot, and some being 100% Merlot or Cab for just a few examples.