Tenuta San Guido is the winery behind the production of this wine. The winery was started in the mid-1950's by Mario Incisa della Rocchetta who dreamed of producing a great, noble wine in Italy. Strongly influenced by Bordeaux he experimented with a number of French varieties before settling for Cabernet Sauvignon, as it produced wines with the "bouquet he was looking for". The resulting wine was the Sassicaia.
The wine, however, was not well recieved by the local consumers who were used to the lighter wines produced from the more traditional Tuscan and Piedmontese varietals of Sangiovese and Nebbiolo. As a result the first twelve vintages of the new wine were consumed at the estate with the first commercial release occurring in 1968. Over time the wine has been elevated to the status of super tuscan, was the first Italian wine that established itself abroad, and is now a highly sought-after wine.
This is not the Sassicaia, however, but the second wine for the winery, the Guidalberto Tenuta San Guido. Named after Guidalberto della Gherardesca, a maternal ancestor of Incisa who cultivated vines in Bolgheri in the 19th century, it is also a wine based on Cabernet Sauvignon (55%) though it also consists of an almost equal portion of Merlot (40%) and a tiny percentage of Sangiovese (5%). The wine has spent 14 months in American and French oak of which 1/3 is new oak.
Here is my tasting note:
Dense purple and red in colour. Nose is quite closed but is elegant and exhibits some fruity plum and mineral characters. Intense fruit on the palate with plenty of plum, prunes, spice and some earthy mineral characters along with some caramel-like oak. Fruit carries the 14% alcohol very well indeed to the extent it is not noticible. Tannins are quite prominent and provide good grip on a powdery chalk-like finish. This is a serious wine with good structure that needs some cellaring time in order to settle down and mature. Superb now but will be even better over a couple of years.