An Overview of the Most Famous Super Tuscans

Super Tuscans are high-quality wines produced in Tuscany, Italy, that diverge from traditional Italian wine regulations. These wines were born in the 1970s when some winemakers, dissatisfied with the restrictions of the Chianti DOC regulations, started to experiment with grape varieties and winemaking techniques that were not allowed within the official classification system. The term “Super Tuscan” was coined to describe these innovative wines that quickly gained international recognition for their quality and character. In this overview, we will explore some of the most famous Super Tuscans and the distinctive traits that set them apart. 


Sassicaia, produced by Tenuta San Guido, is considered the pioneer of the Super Tuscan movement. The wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc and is known for its elegance, complexity, and balance. Sassicaia exhibits flavors of blackcurrant, black cherry, cedar, and tobacco, with a firm tannic structure and a long, lingering finish. 


Created by Antinori, one of Italy’s oldest winemaking families, Tignanello is another iconic Super Tuscan. It is a blend of mainly Sangiovese, with Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, and was the first modern red wine to include non-traditional grape varieties in Tuscany. Tignanello is characterized by its rich flavors of red and black fruit, along with notes of chocolate, spice, and leather. The wine has a full body, smooth tannins, and a long finish. 


Another masterpiece from Antinori, Solaia is the reverse blend of Tignanello, with mainly Cabernet Sauvignon, supported by Sangiovese and Cabernet Franc. The wine is aged in French oak barrels and displays flavors of blackcurrant, cherry, vanilla, and spice. Solaia is known for its harmony, depth, and complexity, with silky tannins and a long, refined finish. 


Produced by Tenuta dell’Ornellaia owned by the Frescobaldi Family, Ornellaia is a Bordeaux-style blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot. This Super Tuscan is known for its powerful yet elegant character, with flavors of blackberry, plum, chocolate, and a hint of mint. The wine has a velvety texture, well-integrated tannins, and a persistent finish. 


Masseto, also owned by the Frescobaldi Family, is a celebrated Super Tuscan made exclusively from Merlot grapes. Renowned as one of Italy’s most illustrious Merlots, it is harvested from a mere seven-hectare vineyard graced with distinctive blue clay soils. Masseto enchants with its lush black fruit, chocolate, spice, and earthy undertones. Aged in French oak, it attains a velvety texture, intense concentration, and harmonious tannins, culminating in a lingering finish. This wine epitomizes the ingenuity and excellence that Super Tuscans represent. 

Flaccianello della Pieve: 

Produced by the Fontodi estate, Flaccianello della Pieve is made entirely from Sangiovese. It exudes a dynamic bouquet of ripe red fruits, dried flowers, and spicy notes, supplemented by deeper hints of chocolate and leather. The maturation in French oak imparts a layer of complexity and elegance to the wine, giving it smooth tannins and an impressive longevity.  


Redigaffi, crafted by Tua Rita, is another monovarietal Super Tuscan, made exclusively from Merlot grapes. This wine, from the coastal Maremma region, showcases the versatility of Tuscany’s terroir. Redigaffi boasts a rich, concentrated profile, replete with flavors of blackberries, plums, and cherries, intertwined with nuances of tobacco, chocolate, and vanilla from oak aging. With its deep color, voluptuous body, velvety texture, and structured tannins, Redigaffi provides an opulent drinking experience.  

Super Tuscans represent a groundbreaking movement in Italian winemaking that defied convention and challenged the status quo. These wines, produced by visionary winemakers in Tuscany, have garnered international acclaim for their quality, innovation, and distinctive character. By exploring the rich history and unique attributes of these iconic Super Tuscans, you can gain a deeper appreciation for the creativity and passion that drives the world of fine wine. 

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Written by

Bernard Marr has a deep passion for wine. He has written hundreds of articles on wine, including features for Forbes, covering wine-making and industry trends. Away from the world of wine, Bernard is a world-renown business and technology futurist. He is the award winning author of over 20 best-selling books and has a combined audience of nearly 4 million people across his social media channels and newsletters.

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