Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon
Tenuta San Guido
Sassicaia 2018 – Tenuta San Guido
This epochal Tuscan red has beguiling aromas of wild red berry, menthol and tobacco that mingle with fragrant flowers. Made with 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Cabernet Franc, the focused, elegantly structured palate is vibrant and savory, delivering cassis, orange zest, licorice and a hint of coffee with elegant and polished tannins. Bright acidity keeps it energized and balanced.
Availability: In stock
Quietly, elegantly and almost involuntarily, the Incisa della Rocchetta family set to release the wine that would revolutionise the Italian wine scene creating a totally new genre: The Super Tuscan. Tenuta San Guido is now a legendary estate and was first planted in the 1940s by the Marchese Mario Incisa della Rocchetta, who noted the similarity between Bolgheri’s terroir and that of the Graves. When, in 1968, Sassicaia was finally commercially released, it took the fine wine world by storm. Cementing its iconic status, in 1994 it was granted its own appellation – Bolgheri Sassicaia DOC.
In the 1920s the Marchese Mario Incisa della Rocchetta dreamt of creating a ‘thoroughbred’ wine and for him, as for all the aristocracy of the time, the ideal was Bordeaux.
In the 1940s, having settled with his wife Clarice on the Tenuta San Guido on the Tyrrhenian coast, he experimented with several French grape varieties and concluded that the Cabernet had “the bouquet I was looking for.”
A wine made mainly from Cabernet Sauvignon was a fundamental change to the Tuscan and Piedmont tradition of Sangiovese and Nebbiolo, respectively. The innovative decision to plant this variety at Tenuta San Guido was partly due to the similarity Mario Incisa had noted between Tuscan terrain and that of Graves in Bordeaux.
‘Graves’, or ‘gravel’ in French refers to the rocky terrain which distinguishes the Bordeaux area; similarly, the gravely vineyard sites in Tuscany impart the same characteristics on Sassicaia, “stony ground”, as its cherished French brother.
The Marchese’s first vintages were not warmly received. Critics accustomed to light, local wines were not encouraging; it was not taken into consideration that wines made from the more complex Cabernet Sauvignon grape would need more time to mature and develop.
And thus from 1948 to 1967, Sassicaia remained a strictly private affair, only to be consumed at Tenuta San Guido.
Each year, a few cases were stored to age in the Castiglioncello di Bolgheri cellar. The Marchese soon realized that by ageing the wine it improved considerably.
Friends and relatives now urged Mario Incisa to experiment further with his project and perfect his revolutionary winemaking style. It was not until 1968 that Sassicaia was first commercially released – the welcome was worthy of a Bordeaux Premier Cru.
Over the next few years, the cellar was moved to a temperature controlled location, steel fermentation vats replaced wooden vats, and French barriques were introduced to the aging process.