Naming Rights + Super Tuscans

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Photo by Aliona & Pasha on

This month our Italian Food, Wine and Travel group explores Super Tuscan wines. As the host for this event, I became interested in have a conversation about these wines after a friendly (but enlightening) conversation emerged on Twitter earlier this year.

Super Tuscan sounds incredible. It’s easy to pronounce in almost any language and it has a real ring to it. Behind the name are international grapes (often Bordeaux-style) that people around the world recognize and love such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. These can be blended with Sangiovese or other native Tuscan grapes, or not. There isn’t necessarily a profile for Super Tuscans, with a range of flavors based on winemaking style.


A wine labeled Toscana IGT. Photo Credit: Jill Barth

The concept came about in the early 1970s, when winemakers wanted to use these grapes though the rules said otherwise. Like many wine-producing regions, Tuscany has regulations. Back in the 70s, these regulations prohibited the use of some grapes that winemakers wanted to use.

Since then, the denomination system has grown to include a Toscana IGT classification, which basically means the wine is made in Tuscany, and this will often appear on the label of Super Tuscan wines. These will commonly be named like in the wine below: Lagone.

Wine to try: Aia Vecchia 2016 “Lagone” Toscana IGT  – 60% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Cabernet Franc

Castello Di Albola Acciaiolo Toscana IGT – 50% Sangiovese, 50% Cabernet Sauvignon


Another classification of this style is Bolgheri, which is known for Bordeaux-style blends comprised of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot. These blends include one or more of these, and/or up to 50% Sangiovese or Syrah. Certain other grapes can be included, up to 30%. White wines from Bolgheri are typically made from Vermentino, which must dominate at 70%. Sauvignon Blanc and Trebbiano Toscano can also be include in smaller amounts.

Wine to try: Aia Vecchia 2016 “Sor Ugo” Bolgheri DOC Superiore: 60% Merlot blended with Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc.

Italian Food, Wine + Travel

Join our Twitter chat on Saturday, June 27th at 10am central time. All are welcome, just hit up the hashtag #ItalianFWT.


Super Tuscans, Take-Out Pizza, and a Spicy Summer Salad | This post comes to you from the kitchen magician behind Culinary Adventures with Camilla.

Super Tuscan Wine Pairing: I Sodi di San Niccolò and Scallop Shrimp Pasta with Tomatoes and Mushrooms | A tempting pairing is coming your way from The Wine Chef.

Super Tuscans: What’s It All About? | This question will be answered by the founder of #ItalianFWT, VinoTravels.

A Stop at Brancaia and a Pizza Night | A perfect combo from California’s own Somm’s Table.

Super rating, super price – Is this Super Tuscan super? | The question will be answered in full by My Full Wine Glass.

Have You Tried These Super Tuscans? | Get the opportunity to explore with The Wining Hour.

There’s no need to Fear, Super Tuscans are here! | Hear the heroic call from Our Good Life.

Are Super Tuscans still relevant and worth my time and money?| Find out all there is to know with Crushed Grape Chronicles.

Cooper’s Hawk: A Great Concept and a Super Super Tuscan | Get the inside scoop on this treat from A Day In the Life on the Farm.

I Colazzi and a Big Ol’ Steak | Don’t miss this outstanding combo from Joy of Wine.

No Super Tuscans for Me! | The point of view from FoodWineClick is super clear.

Super Tuscans: Keep Your Sassicaia, I’ll take the Sangiovese | A message from WinePredator to all readers.

Supertuscan Is All About The Name, Not In The Wine | According to an Italian wine expert, GrapeVine Adventures.

Looking Beyond the Name Super-Tuscans | Insight from Avvinare that goes deeper than the title.

Naming Rights + Super Tuscans | From our host at L’Occasion!

9 thoughts on “Naming Rights + Super Tuscans

  1. I have always written off “Super Tuscans” as expensive “cult wines”. I didn’t see the need for another Bordeaux Blend. I guess they seemed like wines that rich old men collect and that was not my style.
    Diving into this I was able to explore Tuscany a bit. I actually found a “Super Tuscan” style wine that I enjoyed.
    Will I search for Super Tuscan wines again? Not likely, but I will revisit the wine I tasted. Beyond that, I look forward to diving into more of the indigenous Italian varieties and blends.
    Thanks for a great discussion.


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