As one of the most famous and globally renowned fine wines, a new release of Sassicaia is always exciting, but even within this context the 2013 is special. With the potential to be the highest scoring ever vintage of this wine, this is a future classic in the making.


Early tasting from barrel are showing serious potential for the 2013. Larner sees it as “promising greatness” while Galloni echoes her thoughts, stating, “there is a lot to look forward to.” The signs are there that this will be one of the top efforts for Sassicaia - and this makes it impossible to ignore.


With 2014 a poor vintage in Tuscany (reflected in an 87-89 point score for Sassicaia from Larner) the 2013 is therefore the vintage to stock up on.

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Average critic rating : 95.75 points



Tasted from separate lots in barrel, the 2013 Sassicaia is shaping up to be a jewel of a wine. Rich, layered and expansive on the palate, the 2013 possesses remarkable depth, spherical texture and fine, silky tannins that wrap around the finish. A first sample, taken from a parcel in Mandrione shows remarkable perfume, while a second sample, from 40 year-old vines in Castiglioncello is all about density and power. There is a lot to look forward to here, that much is obvious. (Oct 2015) Drink 2023-2043



The 2013 Bolgheri Sassicaia is released 30 years after the death of Tenuta San Guido founder, Mario Incisa della Rocchetta, and in the same year that his son Nicolò celebrated his 80th birthday. This is a wine of excellent execution, beautiful balance and seamless intensity. The bouquet opens slowly to reveal delicate aromas of dark fruit and integrated spice that build in steady strength. That forward momentum, which is so specific to Sassicaia, is what ultimately brings us confidence in the wine's remarkable ageing potential. The mouthfeel delivers freshness and power, but in measured doses, with long and silky persistence. The 2013 vintage should be set aside for ten more years. Jul 2016,, Drink 2018-2040

Tenuta San Guido: The Importance

Not wishing to put too fine a point on it, but the importance of Tenuta San Guido is Sassicaia. Widely credited to have been the first-ever Super Tuscan, alongside fellow heavyweights Solaia, Tignanello and Ornellaia, this wine sparked a revolution in Italian winemaking. Sassicaia started as a Vino da Tavola because of its use of grape varieties not permitted under the restrictive DOC regulations. However, the quality and demand lead to these experimental wines being granted the right to use the Indicazione Geografica Tipica classification of Toscana and then later DOC Bolgheri. Such is the fame of Sassicaia that it went one step further by being awarded its own exclusive DOC Bolgheri Sassicaia, the only wine from a single estate to receive this privilege.


In the late 1970s Decanter arranged a tasting of “great clarets” judged by a panel including Serena Sutcliffe, Hugh Johnson and Clive Coates, which was won by Sassicaia. It was the first Italian wine to receive a perfect 100 points from Robert Parker, who claims to have misidentified it in blind tastings for Mouton Rothschild. In 2015 it was the second most searched for wine on Jancis Robinson’s Purple Pages and after a tasting of Sassicaia magnums Jancis asked herself the following question: “Does my working life get any better than this?” before answering: “No it does not.” Neal Martin has called it “the catalyst for modern Italian viticulture” and today Sassicaia remains one of the world’s finest and most sought after Cabernet Sauvignon wines.


Tenuta San Guido: The Insight

Sassicaia is the jewel in Tenuta San Guido’s crown. Its terroir inspired the Bordeaux blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc; the name means stony field in a similar fashion to Graves being named after its gravelly soils. Sassicaia deserves a place in the cellars of Italian wine lovers, Bordeaux collectors or fans of the innovative New World wines it encouraged.


In the early 2000s Tenuta San Guido introduced two new wines, available at a fraction of the price of Sassicaia. The first was Guidalberto, a Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot blend to act as, in Tenuta San Guido’s words, “a wine which could be appreciated at a younger age compared to our veteran Sassicaia.” This wine consistently receives over 90 points from Wine Advocate.


The second was Le Difese, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese, offers a lower priced alternative that more closely reflects the local Chianti.


Tenuta San Guido: The Background

Tenuta San Guido can be found just outside the village of Bolgheri in Maremma, Tuscany. Their 90 hectares of vineyards spread over 13km from the sea to the hills. Founder and racehorse owner Mario Incisa della Rocchetta particularly enjoyed the wines of Bordeaux, so when he married Marchesa Clarice della Gherardesca and received a large swathe of land as part of her dowry, he decided to plant a vineyard. He had noticed similarities in the terroir and so took cuttings of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc in 1944 from a vineyard belonging to a friend near Pisa. For almost thirty years the wine was made purely for his family, until his son Nicolò and nephew Piero Antinori convinced him to sell his 1968 vintage in 1971. It proved such a hit that Mario Incisa della Rocchetta enlisted the help of the oenologist Giacomo Tachis, described by The Scotsman as “the king of Italian winemakers”, to help hone and perfect the wine.


The winery is still family owned and consists of four major vineyards; Castiglioncello (the first to be planted in 1944), Sassicaia (cooled by maritime winds), Aia Nuova and Quercione (planted from cuttings from Sassicaia on a high ridge).

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