Tenuta San Guido, Sassicaia

Tenuta San Guido, Sassicaia, 2013

  • icon-type Type

    Red

  • icon-year Year

    2013

  • icon-style Style

    Dry

  • icon-country Country

    Italy

  • icon-alcohollevel Alcohol level

    13.5%

  • icon-grapevariety Grape variety
    Cabernet Sauvignon 85%, Cabernet Franc 15%
  • Rating

    RP 97

Intense, concentrated and deep ruby-red, this wine offers complex aromas of red and black fruits, with spice and wild herb notes. In the mouth, the rich flavours are dense, yet elegant, harmonious and graceful, with sweet but firm tannins. With a long finish, this wine's depth and structure will ensure an extraordinary evolution in bottle. Definitely a good vintage.

The mild and early winter was followed at the end of January by some cold rainy days. In essence spring began late. Some frosts in April helped to control the budding and created the natural conditions for lower production. In May the temperatures rose gradually alternating with mild but rainy days. By early June the summer had effectively began with high temperatures, though below the seasonal average, accompanied by well timed sporadic precipitations. This offered cooling and water supply to the vineyards. Optimal weather and summer climate conditions continued until the harvest. A favourable temperature range between day and night helped the aromatic extraction of Cabernet.

About Tenuta San Guido

Tenuta San Guido is much better known by the name of its most famous wine – Sassicaia. It is located in the Tuscan region of Maremma, and is has its own single-estate DOC appellation (Bolgheri Sassicaia) applied to its flagship label.

Sassicaia, one of the original Super Tuscan wines, is made up of Cabernet Sauvignon with a small amount of Cabernet Franc. It is known for its supple texture, elegance and perfume.

The grapes that go into Sassicaia are picked just before they reach full ripeness, which contributes to finesse and fragrance as well as a lower alcohol levels. After two weeks' fermentation in stainless steel tanks, the wine is aged for around 24 months in French oak barrels (around 20 percent of which are new).

Tenuta San Guido also makes Guidalberto and Le Difese from declassified Sassicaia fruit and from other estate vineyards. These two wines are classified as IGT Toscana. Guidalberto is a Cabernet Sauvignon – Merlot blend, and Le Difese Cabernet Sauvignon – Sangiovese, with a portion aged in American oak.

In collaboration with the Santadi Co-op, the estate also owns Agricola Punica in Sardinia. This operation produces three wines under the Isola Dei Nuraghi IGT classification.

Sassicaia ("stony field" in English) was created as an experimental wine in the 1940s by the Marchese Mario Incisa della Rocchetta (a cousin of the Antinoris), who dreamed of making a wine to rival great Bordeaux. On settling at his wife's estate, he experimented with several French varieties before focusing on Cabernet Sauvignon, noting the similarity between the local gravelly terrain and that of Graves in Bordeaux.

His initial wines, which were heavier than other local wines, did not gain a warm reception and so, while production continued on a small scale, the first commercial release of Sassicaia did not happen until 1968. The wine was an immediate hit, and production was quickly modernised. In the 1980s, the Marchese's cousin Ludovico Antinori began to plant his neighbouring property, Ornellaia.

The wine was initially released as a Vino da Tavola due in part to the lack of history of the coastal region it was made in, which was dismissed as swampy by many producers. But Sassicaia's early acclaim prompted the introduction of the Indicazione Geografica Tipica (IGT) classification across Italy, as the authorities did not want Italy's most famous wine to be labelled Vino da Tavola. In 1994, the single estate DOC and broader Bolgheri appellation were set up as planting across the entire Maremma rapidly increased.

Grape variety
Cabernet Franc

Cabernet Franc is one of the major black grape varieties worldwide. It is principally grown for blending with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot in the Bordeaux style, but can also be vinified alone, as in the Loire's Chinon. In addition to being used in blends and produced as a varietal in Canada and the United States, it is sometimes made into ice wine in those regions.

Cabernet Franc is lighter than Cabernet Sauvignon, making a bright pale red wine that contributes finesse and lends a peppery perfume to blends with more robust grapes. Depending on the growing region and style of wine, additional aromas can include tobacco, raspberry, bell pepper, cassis, and violets.

Records of Cabernet Franc in Bordeaux go back to the end of the 18th century, although it was planted in Loire long before that time. DNA analysis indicates that Cabernet Franc is one of two parents of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Carménère.

Cabernet Franc shares many of the same phenolic and aroma compounds as Cabernet Sauvignon but with some noticeable differences. Cabernet Franc tends to be more lightly pigmented and produces wines with the same level of intensity and richness. Cabernet Franc tends to have a more pronounced perfume with notes of raspberries, blackcurrants, violets and graphite. It is often characterised by a green, vegetal strike that can range from leaves to green bell peppers. It has slightly less tannins than Cabernet Sauvignon and tends to produce a wine with a smoother mouthfeel. New World examples of Cabernet Franc tend to emphasise the fruit more and may delay harvesting the grapes to try to minimise the green leafy notes.

Alternative Names: Bordo, Bouchet, Bouchy, Breton, Cabernet Franco, Cabernet Frank

Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the world's most widely recognised red wine grape varieties. It is grown in nearly every major wine producing country among a diverse spectrum of climates from Canada's Okanagan Valley to Lebanon's Beqaa Valley. Cabernet Sauvignon became internationally recognised through its prominence in Bordeaux wines where it is often blended with Merlot and Cabernet Franc. From France and Spain, the grape spread across Europe and to the New World where it found new homes in places like California's Santa Cruz Mountains, Paso Robles, Napa Valley, New Zealand's Hawkes Bay, South Africa's Stellenbosch region, Australia's Margaret River and Coonawarra regions, and Chile's Maipo Valley and Colchagua. For most of the 20th century, it was the world's most widely planted premium red wine grape until it was surpassed by Merlot in the 1990. However, by 2015, Cabernet Sauvignon had once again become the most widely planted wine grape.

Despite its prominence in the industry, the grape is a relatively new variety, the product of a chance crossing between Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc during the 17th century in southwestern France. Its popularity is often attributed to its ease of cultivation - the grapes have thick skins and the vines a re hardy and naturally low yielding, budding late to avoid frost and resistant to viticultural hazards such as rot and insects - and to its consistent presentation of structure and flavours which express the typical character ("typicity") of the variety. Familiarity and ease of pronunciation have helped to sell Cabernet Sauvignon wines to consumers, even when from unfamiliar wine regions.

The classic profile of Cabernet Sauvignon tends to be full-bodied wines with high tannins and noticeable acidity that contributes to the wine's aging potential. In cooler climates, Cabernet Sauvignon tends to produce wines with blackcurrant notes that can be accompanied by green bell pepper notes, mint and cedar which will all become more pronounced as the wine ages. In more moderate climates the blackcurrant notes are often seen with black cherry and black olive notes while in very hot climates the currant flavours can veer towards the over-ripe and "jammy" side. In parts of Australia, particularly the Coonawarra wine region of South Australia, Cabernet Sauvignon wines tend to have a characteristic eucalyptus or menthol notes.

The style of Cabernet Sauvignon is strongly influenced by the ripeness of the grapes at harvest. When more on the unripe side, the grapes are high in pyrazines and will exhibit pronounced green bell peppers and vegetal flavours. When harvested overripe the wines can taste jammy and may have aromas of stewed blackcurrants. Some winemakers choose to harvest their grapes at different ripeness levels in order to incorporate these different elements and potentially add some layer of complexity to the wine. When Cabernet Sauvignon is young, the wines typically exhibit strong fruit flavours of black cherries and plum. The aroma of blackcurrants is one of the most distinctive and characteristic element of Cabernet Sauvignon that is present in virtually every style of the wine across the globe. Styles from various regions and producers may also have aromas of eucalyptus, mint and tobacco. As the wines age they can sometimes develop aromas associated with cedar, cigar boxes and pencil shavings. In general New World examples have more pronounced fruity notes while Old World wines can be more austere with heightened earthy notes.

Alternative Names: Bidure, Bouche, Bordo, Bouchet, Burdeos Tinto, Lafite, Vidure

About Bolgheri

Bolgheri is a relatively young yet prestigious Italian appellation located in the Maremma on the Tuscan coast just to the south of Livorno, and named after a town in the north of the region. It is known mainly for deeply coloured, supple yet age worthy red wines, usually based on the Bordeaux grape varieties. The winemaking zone features sloping coastal vineyards close to the Tyrrhenian Sea.

As recently as the 1970s, the area had little reputation for wine production, regarded elsewhere in Tuscany as something of a swampy zone producing fairly nondescript white wines and rosés, and better suited to other farming, in contrast to the prime Tuscan vineyards further up in the hills. Then, in 1978, in an infamous blind tasting arranged by Decanter Magazine, the 1972 vintage of a largely unknown wine called Sassicaia, made at Tenuta San Guido estate of the Marchese Mario Incisa della Rocchetta, beat a number of top Bordeaux wines. Wine had been made at Tenuta San Guido in a rather rustic fashion for personal consumption for some years previously, and only commercialised from the 1968 vintage, but this early example of a more polished version made by legendary winemaking consultant Giacomo Tachis led to an awakening of interest in the region.

Sassicaia's name ("stony field") alludes to the banks of gravel in the area, reminiscent of vineyards in the Graves and the Haut-Médoc, which inspired the French wine loving Marchese to plant Bordeaux varieties – particularly Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc – rather than Sangiovese. In the 1980s, Lodovico Antinori began planting on his neighbouring Ornellaia estate. An area of clay within this estate was planted with Merlot and became the separate Masseto property. The sunny, dry and breezy climate of Bolgheri and the stony soils with clay patches have attracted further vineyard expansion mostly focusing on red Bordeaux varieties.

Until the current DOC regulations were laid down in 1994, Sassicaia and the other Super Tuscan wines produced here were usually sold as Vino da Tavola or Toscana IGT. Today a Bolgheri Rosso, Rosso Superiore or Rosé may be made entirely from Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, or a blend combining one or more of these, and/or up to 50 percent of Syrah or Sangiovese. Other red grapes such as Petit Verdot may account for up to 30 percent. Wines made from other grape varieties or nonconforming blend percentages are classified as IGTs. Earlier DOC regulations prevented mono-varietal wines from being produced as Bolgheri Rosso, and some examples such as Masseto are also still labelled as Toscana IGT. Since 2013 Sassicaia has its own subzone DOC – expected to become a DOCG in due course – whose rules reflect the wine’' typical 85-15 composition of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc.

The white wine grape most often used in Bolgheri Bianco is Vermentino, which may account for up to 70 percent of the wine. Sauvignon Blanc and Trebbiano Toscano may contribute up to 40 percent, and others no more than 30 percent. There are separate Bolgheri Sauvignon and Bolgheri Vermentino DOCs that must contain 85 percent of the headline grape variety. Many white wine examples are relatively light, crisp and refreshing, though there are some examples of barrel-matured whites.

Wine tourism in the area gained a considerable boost with the opening in 2017 of the World Wine Town, designed by Oscar-winning art director Dante Ferretti and located in Casone Ugolino, a former 16th-Century farm in Castagneto Carducci in the heart of the DOC zone. As well as the MuSeM Sensory and Multimedia Wine Museum, the complex features restaurants, shops wine and cookery schools and conference facilities.

Regular price $1,712.00

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This is a wine from our Overseas - In Bond Collection. The wine is quoted as a price in S$ for purchase and transfer into a UK bonded warehouse. The purchase price is a duty/tax free price and does not include delivery to Singapore. Please contact us below if you wish to enquire delivery or storage options for a wine from our Overseas - In Bond Collection to Singapore or elsewhere.

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