Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

Italian term applied to doc wines which are deemed superior because of their higher minimum alcoholic strength, usually by a half or one per cent, a longer period of ageing before commercial release, or a lower maximum permitted yield, or all three. Among the more significant wines which fall into this category are the three barbera DOCs or DOCGs of piemonte (Alba, Asti, Monferrato), bardolino, caldaro, grave del friuli, soave, valpolicella, and valtellina (where the Superiore-designated area includes the crus of Grumello, Inferno, Maroggia, Sassella, and Valgella). Triggered by the eu reforms of 2008, the Superiore versions of several DOCs such as frascati have been elevated to DOCG status while, confusingly, the normal DOC continues to co-exist. These promotions, notably that of Agliancio del Vulture Superiore and, earlier, Soave Superiore, are often petty compromises, born out of resistance to elevating the often much smaller historic classico heartland of a zone to DOCG status.