Learn about Tuscan Blends — taste profile, popular regions and more …
Big, bold and modern in style, Tuscan Blends are composed solely of international grape varieties or a mix of international and indigenous. In the 1970s, disenchanted with constraints of Italian winemaking laws, a few rebellious Tuscan winemakers decided to get creative. Instead of following the tradition to bottle Sangiovese by itself, they started blending it with various international varieties, namely Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Syrah, applying their own creative spin for the blend. Luckily all of these marry well with Sangiovese, and even make great Tuscan wines on their own. As a result, these producers experienced near-immediate success.
Tasting Notes for Tuscan Blends
Tuscan Blends are dry, red wines and have a full body, silky tannins and good complexity. Typical aromas and flavors in Tuscan Blends include blackcurrant, plum, black cherry, licorice, cedar, camphor, wet earth, violets, sweet spice and cocoa.
Perfect Food Pairings for Tuscan Blends
Anything protein-rich will pair with Tuscan Blends. Filet mignon, venison, a grilled portabello with pecorino & rosemary, lasagna and anything off the barbecue are all great choices.
Sommelier Secrets for Tuscan Blends
The most famous and revered Tuscan Blends from Italy are called “Super Tuscans.” One of the most well-known, ‘Tignanello,’ created by Antinori in 1971, is a blend of 80% Sangiovese, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc. Ornellaia, established by Marchesi Lodovico Antinori in 1981, with the help of renowned agronomist Andre Tchelistcheff, remains a stellar example today; since 2002 Marchesi de' Frescobaldi has been the sole owner. Ornellaia is typically a blend of about half Cabernet Sauvignon, a third Merlot and the rest filled in with Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Sassicaia, another, has earned itself an extraordinary reputation and global esteem, so much so that the Sassicaia property was actually awarded its very own appellation with the 1994 vintage. It is typically 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Cabernet Franc.