A primer on Sassicaia

A primer on Sassicaia

Sassicaia holds a special place in the world of wine. Here are some key factors that contribute to its significance:

  1. Pioneering Super Tuscan: Sassicaia is often considered the original Super Tuscan wine. In the 1960s, Marchese Mario Incisa della Rocchetta planted Cabernet Sauvignon vines on his Tenuta San Guido estate in Bolgheri, Tuscany, defying traditional Italian winemaking practices. At the time, Sangiovese was the dominant grape variety in Tuscany, but Incisa believed that the climate and soil of his estate were better suited for Cabernet Sauvignon. This innovative decision led to the creation of a new style of wine that blended international grape varieties with local ones, challenging the traditional Italian wine laws.

  2. High Quality and Prestige: Over the years, Sassicaia has consistently maintained high quality and garnered significant praise from wine critics and enthusiasts. It was one of the first Italian wines to receive widespread international acclaim. The 1985 vintage, in particular, was a game-changer for the reputation of Sassicaia, showcasing its potential for aging and quality that could rival some of the best wines in the world.

  3. Influence on Italian Wine Industry: Sassicaia's success and acclaim played a pivotal role in reshaping the perception of Italian wines on the global stage. It helped establish Italy as a producer of fine wines capable of competing with the best Bordeaux and Burgundy had to offer. Additionally, its influence spurred the development of other Super Tuscan wines, leading to an expansion of experimentation and innovation in Italian winemaking.

  4. Terroir and Location: The vineyards of Tenuta San Guido, where Sassicaia is produced, are situated in an exceptional terroir. The vineyards benefit from a maritime climate, with a unique mix of sandy, gravelly soils rich in minerals, which contribute to the wine's distinct character and elegance.

  5. Age-Worthy and Collectible: Sassicaia is renowned for its aging potential. Properly stored bottles can age gracefully for several decades, developing complexity, softer tannins, and mature flavors over time. This has made it a favorite among collectors and investors who seek wines that appreciate in value with age.

  6. Rarity and Limited Production: Sassicaia has a limited annual production due to the small size of the estate and the meticulous attention given to the winemaking process. This scarcity further contributes to its desirability and prestige.

Overall, Sassicaia's historical significance, consistent quality, and pioneering influence on the Italian wine industry have cemented its position as an essential and important Tuscan wine.

Back to blog