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Sassicaia

Region: Italy

In the 1920's, the Italian Marquis known as Mario Incisa della Rocchetta discovered a passion for wine. This passion led him to dream one day of creating the ultimate "thoroughbred" of wine which in that day for aristocrats like himself, was Bordeaux. Twenty years later, he and his wife Clarice settled in Tenuta San Guido on the Tyrrhenian coast of Italy where he would experiment with various French grape varieties (from cuttings he "acquired" from the Salviati estate in Migliarino) in the rocky Italian soil, the result of which was a decent Cabernet. Mario Incisa's idea to make a Cabernet Sauvignon in the Piedmont/Tuscan region was creative, bold and innovative - some at the time thought crazy. Mario Incisa's first vintages were not well received by critics accustomed to lighter, local wines. So from 1948 to the year 1967, this critically rejected Sassicaia as it was come to be known was consumed only at Tenuta San Guido, a small number of cases stored away each year. Over time, however, it was discovered that the longer the wine aged, the better it became. Mario was convinced to revisit his dream of creating the perfect wine, and in 1968, Sassicaia was commercially released and considered worthy of a Bordeaux Premier Cru. Tenuta San Guido had become the producer of Mario Incisa della Rocchetta's perfect wine.

Mario Incisa's grape of choice was Cabernet Sauvignon, a much more complex grape than the Sangiovese and Nebbiolo that winemakers of the Piedmont and Tuscan regions were more accustomed to working with. Mario Incisa's beloved Cabernet Sauvignon grapevines had been started with cuttings he absconded with when he was a guest of the Salviati Dukes in Migliarino at their Italian estate and vineyards.

Tenuta San Guido is best known for producing Super Tuscan" wine. Its wine Bolgheri Sassicaia is considered Italy's best Bordeaux-style Tuscan Reds. The 1985 Sassicaia is the holy grail of Super Tuscans, and many consider it to be one of the greatest wines ever produced in the world.


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