It makes sense to eat seasonably so why not drink seasonably? As summer shifts into fall, it’s time to swap out the crisp, cooling whites for warmer, comforting reds, and what better than so-called “Super Tuscan?” Most commonly defined as a Tuscan wine blended with international varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, these wines exhibit flavors perfect for cooler weather: dusty cocoa, friendly tannins and aromatic herbs are just some of the myriad descriptors for these delicious pours. Here are some of our favorites this season, but check out the Buying Guide for other recently rated selections.
Tua Rita 2013 Rosso di Notri (Toscana); $20, 91 points.
Made with 50% Sangiovese and a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, this vibrant red opens with lovely aromas of dark-skinned berry, plum and cake spice. The smooth, vibrant palate doles out black cherries, crushed blackberries, dusty cocoa and aniseed. It’s nicely balanced with racy acidity and polished tannins. Drink through 2018.
Campo di Sasso 2013 Insoglio del Cinghiale (Toscana); $30, 91 points.
Syrah, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and a drop of Petit Verdot go into this quintessential bottling from the Tuscan coast. It opens with aromas of ripe black-skinned fruit, baking spice, aromatic herb, violets and a whiff of wet soil. The delicious palate doles out crunchy red cherries, crushed raspberries, mint, anise and minerality alongside fresh acidity and polished tannins. Drink through 2018.
Ornellaia 2012 Le Volte (Toscana); $30, 90 points.
Aromas of fleshy black-skinned fruit, kitchen spice and underbrush emerge from this blend of Merlot, Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon. The fresh palate offers mature blackberries, black currants, clove, licorice and dried herb alongside firm, fine-grained tannins. Drink 2016–2020.
Mazzei 2012 Belguardo Serrata (Toscana); $20, 89 points.
Made from Sangiovese and Alicante, this doles out black cherry, plum, mint and menthol aromas that follow through to the medium-bodied palate along with a hint of clove. It’s easy drinking and well balanced, with firm but fine-grained tannins. Drink through 2017.
Altesino 2013 Toscana; $20, 88 points.
Aromas of blue flowers, forest floor and red berry lead the nose on this straightforward red. A blend of 80% Sangiovese, with 20% Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, the smooth, accessible palate offers red cherries, strawberries and anise alongside bright acidity.