Address: Loc Le Capanne, 27 57020 Bolgheri – Livorno
Open: November to July on Wednesday at 1:30 pm 2:45 pm 4:00 pm
Wine Tasting Fee: € 40,00

Tenuta San Guido is an Italian producer of wine and was founded by Mario Incisa della Rochetta. They are a well respected producer of a Super Tuscan wine called Sassicaia which is today one of Italy’s finest Bordeaux style red wines. The Super Tuscan first came about in 1948 when Incisa della Rochetta, who established Tenuta San Guido, used Cabernet Sauvignon vines to make the wine. For twenty years this wine was used strictly for family consumption until the wine producer engaged some international wine consultants to improve on the wine. Many years later in the mid 1970s commercial quantities were released in small amounts.

When you hear the term Super Tuscan today words like creativity, rebellion, defiance and freedom all come to mind. Mario Incissa della Rochetta had a vision and drive to make a blend of wine that followed a path similar to Bordeaux wines. This was a bold move since no one expected the vines in Bolgheri to amount to much with the salty air coming from the sea invading the atmosphere. Regulations from the DOC and DOCG were another limiting factor which held the creativity of the wine makers in check.

In the face of this adversity Incisa della Rochetta with the help of Giacomo Tachis managed to write their names on the pages of history when they began the Super Tuscan movement. Mario went ahead and planted a small vineyard of Cabernet Sauvignon in 1944 and experimented for twenty five years until he came out with the winning formula in 1968.

In 1978 Sassicaia emerged victories over 33 other wines from 11 other countries in a Decanter tasting of great clarets. This award gave the wine international recognition although today the position of the wine is somewhat affected by rivals Ornellaia and Solaia.

By the time the late 1990s rolled around Sassicaia received its own DOC, Bolgheri. It stands as the only wine that originates from one estate to be given this honor. Before this DOC was given Sassicaia was classified as IGT because it was not manufactured according to the strict DOC/DOCG regulations.

Super Tuscan Wines from Tenuta San Guido

Sassicaia D.O.C.

The ruby red tones of Sassicaia backed by the chocolate raisins, herbs and smoky flavors are a rich expression of the Bolgheri terroir. The wine is composed of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Cabernet Franc and pairs well with chicken and red meats.

The 2009 vintage turned out well in spite of the less than favorable conditions. The summer was warm and dry but water reserves in the Bolgheri soil helped to grapes to develop to perfection. Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc need long ripening periods so by the time the harvest came around the conditions were just right.

With its colorful history and mid bodied flavor Sassicaia still remains one of the wines that is most sought after in the world. Marchese Nicolò Incisa della Rocchetta commitment to quality keeps this wine a cut above other Super Tuscans which are mass produced and super extracted to meet demands.

At a cost of approximately $200-$6000 per bottle depending on the vintage. Sassicaia has won awards (90+ score) from Wine Advocate and Wine Spectator almost each year it was produced.

Tenuta San Guido Guidalberto

First produced in the 2000 vintage, Guidalberto was first produced in 2000 with the finest vintages of this wine made in 2006, 2007 and 2010 looks promising as well. The wine is produced from a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot and has similarities to Sassicaia. Guidalberto gives wine connoisseurs the opportunity to enjoy the great wines from the Bolgheri terroir without waiting long periods for it to age and with lower price tag. A bottle of Guidalberto costs approximately $50-$120 per bottle.

Guidalberto has an almost crimson red hue which has a very ripe flavor with a chalk like edge. The wine is elegant and filled with a complexity of aromas which all open up in the glass. Altogether the acidity of the wine with the stony finish gives this wine good potential.

Tenuta San Guido Le Difese

A third wine offered by Tenuta San Guido is Le Difese which has a delicious blend of flavors even in its youth that comes from Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine’s appeal has increased the demand for it yearly. The complexity and length of the wine comes mostly from the ageing that takes place for 12 months in French oak barrels.

Le Difese has wonderful aromas of red cherry and wild berry but you can also get a hint of cassis in the background. The soft, ripe tannins add structure and depth to the wine. It can be used from the time of release but it ages well for about 5 years.

Less costly than the other Tenuta San Guido wines Le Difese costs about $35-$55 per bottle.

Tenuta San Guido Wine Tours

Tenuta San Guido is open for tours during the months November to July on Wednesdays. Contact them when making arrangements for a wine tour.

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