Definition - What does Superiore Wine mean?
Superiore wine is a classification of Italian wine overseen by the Denominazione di Origine Controllata, or controlled designation of origin (DOC). Wines classified as Superiore are wines with at least 0.5 more alcohol by volume than similar unclassified wines, and they are produced using a smaller allowed quantity of grapes that yield a higher quality of sugar and concentrated flavors.
WineFrog explains Superiore Wine
Wines classified and certified through the Italian DOC must follow regulations for the type of classification stipulations of the wine style. Superiore Wines follow strict stipulations for both the amount of sugar and the type of grapes used to make wines that have a higher alcohol content and more pronounced flavors, as well as the wine production methods and aging of the wine.
Superiore Wines must be aged and have medium to full body and concentrated flavors. Wines labelled as Superiore will be clearly labelled with the:
- Vineyard name
- Alcohol content
- Bottle Volume
An example of a Superiore wine Chianti Superiore, which can only be labelled as such when it is made with grapes grown and cultivated in the Tuscany, Prato, Siena, Pisa, Pistoia, Arezzo and Florence provinces and provinces from the sub-zones of Chianti Classico that are registered with the Italian DOC. Grapes are specifically selected from low yield, old growth vineyards that produce the grapes designated to be used in Chianti - Sangiovese (75-100%), Canaiolo (10%) and up to 20% of any other approved variety, such as; Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah. The Chianti Superiore must be aged, starting from January 1st after harvest for 9 months, 3 months of which have to be in the bottle.