Super Tuscans: The Unauthorized Stars of Italian Wine



A wine tasting in Delafield, Thursday, January 16, from 6 to 7:30 pm.


Out of all of Italy’s most famous wines – Barolo, Brunello, Chianti Classico – “Super Tuscan” remains one of the most heard-of, but amorphous, categories. Ask any American wine commentator, or any Italian winemaker for that matter, and you’re bound to get a different answer. Are they all Cabernet? Do they all come from Tuscany? When did they originate? Heck, why are they even called “Super Tuscan?”

Clearly, a tasting is in order. Let’s explore this majestic and powerful, yet cloaked in mystery, array of wines.

At this tasting we will explore the initial breakout of Super Tuscans and their rise to stardom in the 1970s and 1980s by exploring the flavor relationships between Chianti and Super Tuscans. This will allow a delicious journey through history, exploring how and why these wines first started being made.

We will then ask our glasses the question, “What is a Super Tuscan?” We’ll break down the flavors of exactly what it means to be Super, or Tuscan, or both, and how winemakers and Mother Nature have created wines that do or do not fit into these categories as well as the Italian government’s reaction to them.

Finally, we taste forward to newly made Super Tuscans in a wide-ranging survey of geology and grape varieties. How are these new wines changing the Super Tuscan label? And to conclude, we’ll return to what has recently been crowned the Top Wine of Chianti – Chianti Classico Gran Selezione – or is it? Let’s taste together and make sure.

Wines to be tasted:

2013 Podere Il Palazzino Chianti Classico Riserva “Grosso Sanese” $40

2015 Arcanum Il Fauno $35

2016 Tenuta San Guido Sassicaia $350 – 100 points.

2017 Tenuta Sette Ponti Oreno $110 – 95 points.

2016 Isole e Olena Cepparello $100 – 97 points.

2016 Argiano Solengo $75 – 99 points.

2017 Tenuta di Biserno Campo di Sasso Insoglio del Cinghiale $35

2016 Tenuta Meraviglia Bolgheri Maestro di Cava $80 – 95 points.

2015 Barone Ricasoli Colledila Chianti Classico Gran Selezione $75 – 97 points.

All wines will have a substantial discount this night only! And there will be a bonus wine for those who arrive before 6 pm.