Marks and reviews
Complex and elegant, an iconic and seductive Tuscan red wine
Located between Livorno and Grosseto, Tenuta San Guido is an iconic reference among Tuscan wines and stems from the marriage between Marquis Mario Incisa della Rocchetta and Clarice della Gherardesca.
The Sassicaia vineyard is planted on an array of soil types that contribute to the signature style of this exceptional wine. The considerable presence of limestone, clay and stony soils favours the deep rooting of the vines and provides a sufficient water supply for the whole vineyard.
The vines are located at approximately 100 to 400 metres above sea level and enjoy a west/southwest exposure.
In 1983, Tenuta San Guido became the first estate in Italy to be granted its own appellation with the consecration of the Bolgheri Sassicaia DOC.
Tenuta San Guido's Sassicaia (meaning "a stony place" in Italian) is one of the most iconic wines in Tuscany, due to both its history and its extreme quality.
A lover of fine wines, Marquis Mario Incisa della Rocchetta was seduced by an Italian wine whose aromatic bouquet reminded him of an old Bordeaux wine. From then on, this aristocrat's ambition was to produce a Tuscan wine that could compete with the finest names in Bordeaux.
A pioneer, he decided to break with the traditional Tuscan grape varieties (Sangiovese and Nebbiolo) by planting Cabernet Sauvignon vines in 1942, which had never been done before, on a stony Tuscan terroir with many similarities to the typical gravelly soils of the Médoc wine region.
Eager to refine the quality of his wine, Mario was advised by his cousin Piero Antinori, a descendant of the illustrious wine merchant family, and by the oenologist Giacomo Tachis. His quest for excellence includes diversifying the grape varieties, controlling yields and changing the ageing processes. The Cabernet Franc variety was planted on the estate in addition to Cabernet Sauvignon, and the winemaking process was carried out based on the Bordeaux know-how.
1968 is the first vintage to be unveiled to the public. Equally surprising and fascinating, international critics were utterly enthused by this wine. Since then, each release of a new Sassicaia vintage marks a special event for lovers of fine Italian wines.
The mild, dry winter preceded an early spring with warm, sunny conditions that favoured the crop development. April was marked by heavy rainfall, which replenished the soil's water reserves, combined with cool temperatures. These conditions persisted until the end of May when warm, sunny conditions set in for a long period of time, ensuring a high-quality, even flowering and fruit set phase. The vineyard also benefited from a good ventilation, thus favouring the development of the aromas. Although the last few days were punctuated by very hot weather, rainy spells in mid-August boosted the ripening process. The temperature variations between night and day were ideal and led to the development of the aromatic palette. The harvest began in the second week of September. The grapes showcased a high quality and revealed a beautiful concentration.
Vinification and ageing
A rigorous sorting precedes a gentle pressing and a delicate destemming. Spontaneous alcoholic fermentation without the addition of external yeast is accompanied by delestage and pumping over to ensure an optimal extraction. Malolactic fermentation in steel tanks. Decanting then placing into barrels. Aged for 25 months in barrels (40% new wood, 40% first-fill barrels and 20% second-fill barrels). At the end of the ageing process, the juice is transferred to steel tanks and ungergoes a selection and final blend. Following bottling, additional ageing is carried out before the wine is put on the market.
Tenuta San Guido’s Sassicaia 2019: Characteristics and tasting tips
This 2019 Sassicaia by Tenuta San Guido expresses its alluring aromatic power, its structure as well as its supple tannins.
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