Over a year ago I attended a guided tasting seminar of the Grandi Marchi, which represents Italy’s premium brands throughout Italy. As our Italian Food, Wine & Travel group highlights Super Tuscans this month I realized it was the perfect time to share one of the wines I tasted at the event, which is one of the beginners of this whole “Super Tuscan” movement. You probably have heard the term “Super Tuscan” before and even myself before I really started learning about wine understood it to always be a wine of prestige, but that isn’t always the case. What is a Super Tuscan? It’s a term that was established back in the 80's. It is rooted in the 70's when some key wine producers decided to venture outside the normal guidelines of utilizing sangiovese and started to either blend international varieties like cabernet sauvignon, merlot and cabernet franc or produce wines solely on these international grapes. Due to Italian wine law these wines could not carry the DOC designation and the IGT category hadn't been established at that time. These wines had to be downgraded to the lowest category, vino da tavola, known as table wine. Vino da Tavola wines were known as the basic, inexpensive wines and so the term “Super Tuscans” was created to have these wine creations stand out from the rest. Especially since they were carrying price points over $100+. It’s an unofficial category and in my opinion is more of a marketing ploy that some producers use to gain the esteem of what was initially intended when creating this term.
Copyright of Federdoc The Winery ~ Tenuta San Guido The leader of this movement stemmed from Tenuta San Guido’s Sassicaia wine of Bolgheri, located in southern Tuscany along the Ligurian coast. This was a wine region that gained tremendous attention due to the development of Sassicaia. In the 40’s Mario Incisa della Rocchetta, owner of Tenuta San Guido, established himself in Bolgheri and wanted to produce innovative wines based on Bordeaux grapes. His nephew, Piero Antinori, got wind of it along with enologist, Giacomo Tachis, and advised him to take his current cabernet franc vines, that were cuttings from the Chateau Lafite-Rothschild estate in Bordeaux, and add cabernet sauvignon to the mix. In the meantime, Piero was also creating Tignanello, another famous Super Tuscan based on sangiovese and cabernet sauvignon. Worldwide fame and success grew and established what we know today as Super Tuscans. Fun fact, Sassicaia is the only Italian wine to receive its own DOC known as the Bolgheri Sassicaia DOC established in 1994. Today many Super Tuscan wines carry the IGT designation or may fall under the Bolgheri DOC also created in 1994.
Copyright of Tenuta San Guido The Wine ~ Sassicaia 2015 Tenuta San Guido Sassicaia Bolgheri Sassicaia DOC – I've been fortunate to try previous vintages of this wine from prior tastings. Aged in French oak barrels (3rd pass) for 2 years before it spends an additional year in the bottle. Made of 85% cabernet sauvignon with 15% cabernet france. A full-bodied, dense and concentrated wine showing complete elegance. On the nose were aromas of dried red fruits, while on the palette it was well-balanced rich with black fruits and spice. The finish was long lasting. I’d love to try this wine in years to come. This wine was #1 of Wine Spectator’s Top 100 in 2018. ABV 14% SRP $265
Copyright of Tenuta San Guido We're having our Twitter chat a week early due to the 4th of July holiday. Join us live on Twitter this Saturday at 11am EST as we chat all about Super Tuscans. Read on to learn more from my fellow Italian wine and food lovers.
I've had the privilege of trying Sassicaia, but a long time ago now. Thanks for sharing your experience and the history.ReplyDelete
I have never heard of Sassicaia but I will be looking for it now. Thanks.ReplyDelete