SASSICAIA 2009, TENUTA SAN GUIDO, BOLGERI DOC ITALY
LCBO PRICE: $179.95
The area around Bolgheri, on the Tuscan coast, belonged to the Counts della Gherardesca for more than 1200 years. Clarice della Gherardesca married Marchese Mario Incisa della Rocchetta in 1930. His family of Piedmontese origin lived in Rocchetta since the twelve hundreds, where it produced wines and was well-known for modern agriculture. As a young agricultural student in Pisa during the 1920’s, Mario Incisa della Rocchetta dreamed of creating a “noble” wine. Like most of Italian aristocracy at the time, his taste in wine ran strongly to fine Bordeaux.
During the Second World War the couple moved to Bolgheri, where he experimented with several French grape varieties before concluding that in Cabernet he found the bouquet he was looking for.
A wine made primarily from Cabernet Sauvignon represented a radical shift from the traditional Tuscan and Piedmontese varietals of Sangiovese and Nebbiolo. No one had ever considered making a wine crafted along Bordeaux lines on Italian soil, least of all in a region not even established viticulturally.
But Bolgheri’s location not far from the sea is similar to Graves in Bordeaux. Furthermore, “Graves” means “gravel” in French, typical for the soil at Tenuta San Guido that also gives Sassicaia its name, meaning “stony ground” in Tuscan dialect.
And so, the Super Tuscans were born...
Sassicaia has long been hailed as Italy’s most famous wine and its splendour is truly reflected in this 2009 vintage.
The blend is 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Cabernet Franc.
The colour of the wine is a deep garnet red. The legs are concentrated and inky on the glass.
On the nose, it is very complex with forest flor, mint, plum, leather, roasted tomato and a little funkiness like root vegetables that I associate with Cabernet Franc.
On the palate, it is juicy, rich and opulent. There is a mélange of ripe red and black berries mingling with some tobacco notes. The funkiness/root vegetable complements the berries. Softer than expected tannins mixed with refreshing acidity. The long finish lingers on toasted coffee beans and plummy notes.
This wine is what my dreams are made of!
Pair it with your favourite pan-fried cut of beef, au jus sauce, sautéed balsamic field-blend mushrooms and some warm crusty bread…