2017 Tenuta San Guido, Sassicaia
2017 Tenuta San Guido, Sassicaia

2017 Tenuta San Guido, Sassicaia

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  • Type: Red Wine
  • Grape: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc
  • Style: Big and Powerful
  • Alcohol: 14%
  • Country: Italy
  • Region: Tuscany
  • Subregion: Bolgheri Sassicaia
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The history of Sassicaia began in 1944 when Marchese Mario Incisa della Rocchetta acquired a number of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc cuttings and planted them on a stony piece of sloping hillside on his family's estate, the Tenuta San Guido in Bolgheri, Tuscany. Owned by his wife's family since the 1800s, and known colloquially as Sassicaia, the place of many stones, the soils of the estate are strikingly similar to the alluvial gravel soils of the Medoc in Bordeaux. The first vintage of Sassicaia was produced in 1948 but was not released commercially until the 1968 vintage, a few thousand bottles of which were released in 1971. Commercial and critical success followed, and production has since increased significantly. In 1994 the wine was awarded its own DOC, prior to which it had to be released as Vino da Tavola the first of the Super-Tuscans.

2017 was rather warm, but in many respects substantially different to previous years, such as 2003 or 2012. The autumn and the first part of the winter were characterised by cold temperatures. Spring and summer were then particularly warm with some of the highest temperatures ever recorded in Tuscany, leading to fewer, smaller grapes. Despite the high temperatures, the wine itself is elegant and precise with voluptuous fruit that's surprisingly fresh. Medium to dark ruby in appearance, the nose has notes of mulberry, ripe red plum, wild berries and a hint of dried rosemary. The palate is juicy and fresh, with black cherry, blackberry, pomegranate, velvety ripe tannins, and superb balance. The soft tannins make this vintage perfect for drinking now and for the next few decades.

Serve with braised meats, osso bucco and aged, hard cheeses.

The early vintages of Sassicaia were poorly received by those critics to whom the marchese presented them as the estate had yet to get the best out of the young vines, and the wines required time to develop. More recent releases are accessible earlier, thanks to advances in viniculture and greater use of wooden barrels.

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