Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A good value Super Tuscan from Tenuta Santo Pietro

There is nothing like getting an email during the day from your local wine shop, Pairings, advertising an overstock on behalf of the distributor and that a super tuscan wine is being discounted to only $15.99 for today only at the tasting. Of course after a long day of work I ran right over to try it out. I can't ever pass down a good Italian wine tasting. The wine was a 2007 Super Tuscan called “Viper” from the Tenuta Santo Pietro winery in Tuscany.  

Tenuta Santo Pietro Pienza, Italy

This wine comes from the small town of Pienza, which I actually visited years ago driving through the gorgeous Tuscan hills. I had decided to stop for some lunch at a small salumeria, somewhat similar to our deli's in the US. Nothing like a fresh pecorino and prosciutto sandwich on crisp tuscan bread. Simple, but the flavors were delicious. Sitting on the wall overlooking the landscape, what more could I ask for. I digress.......back to the wine.

2007 Tenuta Santo Pietro Super Tuscan Viper This wine is made up of 80% sangiovese, 15% merlot and 5% syrah. To remind all, sangiovese is the primary grape that makes up chianti so it had a lot of the typical characteristics of sangiovese, including nice ripe cherry and red fruit, but it had a great balance between the acidity and tannin in the wine and good body. This wine was drinking well now. 

Why the viper you ask?  It definitely jumps out at you on the shelves. When the owners bought the estate over 10 years ago in Pienza they revamped the vineyards and upon doing so the vipers that are indigenous to the area were underneath the vines.  I'm glad I didnt know about the vipers from all my visits there.

What does the name super tuscan mean? No it is not the superman of italian wines. The name super tuscan was created because wineries of the area started to experiment with the sangiovese grape and wanted to add other grapes as well like cabernet sauvignon, merlot, syrah. Unfortunately due to the DOC and DOCG standards this wasn't allowed, so the IGT, Indicazione Geografica Tipica, status was established in 1992. Some of the top wines of this region are IGT wines like Ornellaia, Tignanello and Sassicaia. 

If you want to experience a Super Tuscan, this wine at retail price around $20 is a good way to do so.

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