The category Super Tuscan is a rather amorphous term. It often means a wine that features the native Tuscan Sangiovese paired with one or more of the French varietals like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, or Syrah. Or, it can mean something that is 100% Merlot, Sangiovese, or, increasingly Syrah.
I recently spent a week in the Lucca area drinking, quite a lot, but almost nothing but the wines from the two closest appellations, Colline Lucchesi and Monte Carlo. These are in roughly northwestern Tuscany, west and north of the famed Chianti areas and north from the Bolgheri, where the Super Tuscan concept was born and the many of the most prestigious ones are still made. These are wine regions that garner almost no attention in the US. Not too many producers are even imported into the US.
The wines were of very high quality across the board. Even the farm 400 meters away with a total production of 6,000 bottles and no distribution produced a very good red and white. I was not disappointed with a single bottle from these two appellations. In fact, what I thought was the very best wine of the trip, which also included several days in the Chianti region and Sorrento, was a Super Tuscan from Fubbiano in the Colline Lucchesi, I Pampini.
Rich, with an aroma and red fruit, cherry and plum, it had fair amount of fruitiness balanced with a proper amount of acidity and smooth, well-integrated tannins, a hint of the earthiness expected with Tuscany, and a complexity that would hope for with a special bottle. It was an absolutely delicious, and wine that would be terrific with hearty fare or an aged cheese. Its smoothness belied its 14.5% alcohol.
What was surprising, in addition to its remarkably high quality was that it is made with 10% Teroldego in addition to 90% Sangiovese. Teroldego is red grape native to the Alto Aldige in northern Italy, where makes some interesting wines, albeit in rather small quality. That this varietal was used instead of one of the French grapes that are widespread around Lucca is especially unusual. But, the addition of the Teroldego gave I Pampini a slightly unusual twist, maybe a tinge of smokiness or freshness. Whatever it was, it worked.
We paid 35 euros for the bottle in Lucca. From what I have seen, if you can find it in the US, it is about $40. It is well worth seeking out. It is likely the best Super Tuscan that no one has heard of.