The term ‘Super Tuscan’ has been around for a while now, but you might not be familiar with how it originally came about. Tuscany is one of Italy’s premium wine producing regions. But the Italian wine industry back in the 70s was famously slow-moving and bureaucratic. Wine makers were keen to experiment but felt restricted by regulations.
As a result, many began to use non-indigenous grape varieties to create their own unofficial wines. The resulting high-quality wines became known as ‘Super Tuscans’ and have proved popular with wine lovers and investors ever since. They have now been given official designations such as IGT, DOC or DOCG. Many combine Bordeaux grape varieties with the local Sangiovese variety.
The Super Tuscans to add to your portfolio
Today these top-quality Italian wines also make an excellent choice for investors. The experts at Liv-ex recently suggested that Italian regional wines like these are actually performing better than the most important French appellations.
Here are the five Super Tuscans that we think are worth adding to your portfolio.
1. Tenuta Solaia, 2016
With almost 700 years of winemaking expertise behind them, it’s fair to say the Antinori family know what they’re doing. And this particular vintage from their winery is a lovely example of a premium Super Tuscan. It combines Sangiovese, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes to produce an oaky red wine with plenty of plum and blackberry notes.
The beauty of this wine is that you can feel the expertise of the maker in every glass. It’s a complex and elegant wine that balances the Sangiovese grape’s natural acidity with the perfect amount of tannins.
2. Masseto, Toscana 2006
One of the finest Super Tuscans you’ll ever try, this is produced by the Frescobaldi family. A classic Super Tuscan wine, it is packed with an intense and complex flavour. Full of berry flavours with a hint of herbs, this is a bold red wine of the very highest quality. Best of all, it has lots of potential for aging over the coming years.
3. Bolgheri Superiore 2014
The Bolgheri region is home to some of the very best Super Tuscans. Full of ripe berry and plum, this vintage is a brilliant blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot grapes.
The team at the excellent Ornellaia winery have created a smooth wine that has just the right amount of tannins and ripe fruit flavours. This one is going to be at its best around 2030, but it will be well worth the wait.
4. Tignanello, 2017
Another wonderful example of a Super Tuscan from the Antinori family. This is a version of their most famous vintage, the 1971 Tignanello. It has tobacco notes, plenty of dark Autumn fruits and a finish that goes on and on. This is a beautifully balanced wine that highlights the producer’s heritage. If you really can’t wait for it to age properly, then it’s still perfect now with a bowl of pasta.
5. Tenuta San Guido, Sassicaia, 1985
A true classic and an example of the very best of the Super Tuscans. The 1985 vintage will continue to age beautifully over the next few years and it’s no surprise given its make up. We’ve talked before about how important tannins are in the aging process and this one is full of them. In terms of flavour it is dark and fruity with hints of vanilla and cedar.
Bottles of this excellent vintage aren’t easy to come by. But this particular Super Tuscan will make an excellent edition to your fine wine investment portfolio if you can track it down.