Tuscany is a wine region famous for its beauty and tradition. But one wine breaks the rules of the region, creating a blend that is anything but traditional. That wine is the Super Tuscan, a term you may have encountered while pursuing the menu of a fancy Italian restaurant or steakhouse, or heard from a wine friend who fancies themselves a bit of a collector. These are often age-worthy, delicious wines intended for heartier fare. They utilize not only indigenous grapes, such as Sangiovese, but also those that hail from outside of the boot, such as Merlot and Cabernet. And sometimes the makers of these wines may forgo Italian grapes altogether.
These are wines outside of the DOCG regulations system, and they have built a cult following that has caused them to be among Italy’s most famous wines. Often this also means they are quite expensive, but as I have written before, there are great introductory bottles you can find. These are bottles I wouldn’t say you’d keep for years on end, but they are absolutely delicious as they are, and perfect for your next dinner party.
A good example of one of these wines is Ruffino Modus 2013. Made by one of Tuscany’s larger producers, whose Chianti is quite famous here in the U.S., the wine is an equal blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot. In the glass it pours a rich purple, gaining its color from the French varietals. It immediately emits aromas of cherries, plums and blueberries. On the palate, it has medium tannins that are well-integrated with lots of balsamic and sweet tobacco notes. It’s the ideal wine for drinking with a hearty meat dish and the perfect introduction to the lauded style.