We produce 3 Chanticleer Estate wines in the Super Tuscan style; Chanticleer Cabernet Sauvignon, Chanticleer Riserva and Chanticleer Sangiovese to round out the Italian style offerings. Following is a brief background and history of Super Tuscan wines followed by a general description of our wines.
The Chianti Region of Italy historically produced a Chianti wine which was principally Sangiovese. The D.O.C. laws defined what grapes must be in Chianti and they required a minimum of 10% white grapes, Trebbiano and Malvasia, to be blended with Sangiovese. In the 1970s, Antinori decided to make a richer Chianti wine by eliminating the white grapes from the traditional Chianti blend and instead substituted two Bordeaux varietals, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The result was a new wine they named Tignanello, which is considered to be the first Super Tuscan.
This wine was so avant-garde it ran afoul of D.O.C laws and, as a result, the D.O.C. gave this wine the label 'Vini da Tavola' or Table Wine, which was the lowest quality categorization. However, when these wines were introduced they were, and continue to be, some of the finest wines ever made in Italy. And, their prices were 10 or 20 times higher than an everyday Table Wine. And, they were very enthusiastically received by consumers.
As the result of Antinori’s success with Tignanello, more wineries began experimenting with Super Tuscan mixes and, because of their success and high prices, they were not concerned about strictly following the D.O.C. laws. As a result, Super Tuscan wines flourished.
There is no single definition of “Super Tuscan”, but it is generally accepted that the two principal varietals are Sangiovese and Cabernet with Sangiovese usually the predominant varietal. Our Chanticleer wines are considered “Super Tuscan” style wines.
Chanticleer Cabernet Sauvignon is primarily a Cabernet with typically greater than 90% Cabernet Grapes and only a small quantity of Sangiovese blended in. The Sangiovese softens the wine and adds fruit to the blend. With typically less than 10% Sangiovese in the blend this little bit gives lift, complexity, and a sense of finesse to this powerful wine.
Chanticleer Sangiovese is primarily Sangiovese, typically 85% or more and 15% or less Cabernet Sauvignon. The Cabernet adds body and complexity to this soft and fruitful wine which normally bursts with fruit flavors and is meant to be drunk young.
Chanticleer Riserva is a more traditional "Super Tuscan" wine and typically is approximately 50% Sangiovese and 50% Cabernet. This is a wonderful combination of the two grapes and tends to bring out the best of both variatels. Some of the best wines made in Italy are of a similar blend.