Course: Tuscany

Class 3: Bolgheri and Super Tuscans


Defining Super Tuscans

The term "super Tuscan" came into vogue during the late 1980s as a handful of reds from the region gained international attention.

These wines were a complete departure from Tuscany's traditional wines for two main reasons. They were made using

  1. International grape varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, which are traditionally from Bordeaux
  2. New barriques or new French oak instead of in large, neutral botti made from Slavonian oak or chestnut

Ultimately, they were named "super" Tuscans for their superior quality.



Because these wines relied on grape varieties and winemaking techniques that were not allowed by the official classifications, they were sold as vini da tavola, or table wines. For a while, consumers could find...

Ready to enroll? First, you must register for a membership to Your membership benefits include:

FREE enrollment in any course at Wine Spectator School

Over 230,000 searchable ratings and tasting notes

FREE mobile access so you can research wines wherever you are

E-newsletters with advance ratings

Editors’ blogs

Food and wine matching tool

And much more

Log In If You're Already a Member

Please log in using your email address and password for Wine Spectator School students who enrolled before 7.4.10, log in with your email address and school password or get more info here.

Forgot Password?

By clicking "Log in" you agree to the Terms and Conditions of Wine Spectator Online

Read our FAQ for more information

If you have questions about Wine Spectator School, please contact us.


= members only

Keep me logged in      Forgot Password?

Job Opportunities

Passionate about wine? Wine Spectator magazine is looking for an enthusiastic copy editor in the New York office.

Email Newsletters

Sips & Tips | Wine & Healthy Living
Video Theater | Collecting & Auctions
New! Ratings Flash

» View samples
» Or sign up now!
» Manage my newsletter preferences