Tenuta San Guido Sassicaia 2004
Other Red Blends from Tuscany, Italy
"The best Sassicaia of the last 10 years..."
Sassicaia is a unique interpretation of the Cabernet variety, a wine of great breadth, complexity and longevity. The intense blackberry and cassis aromas, offset by notes of smoke and spice, are confirmed on a palate of lush concentration underscored by firm, ripe tannins carrying into a long, elegant finish.
Wine Enthusiast - "The best Sassicaia of the last 10 years, the 2004 vintage is an outstanding achievement. Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc highlight the beauty of Tuscany and portray the region in terms of thick chocolate fudge, succulent cherry and currant, exotic spice and vanilla seed. Beyond those big aromas are little teasers: blue flowers, Mediterranean herbs, cola and light mineral shadings. It’s lush and full in the mouth and will hold 20 or 30 years.
International Wine Cellar - "Deep ruby-red. Captivatingly intense yet refined aromas of ripe red cherry, mint, smoke and black truffle, complicated by lovely mineral and floral elements. Ripe, rich and velvety on entry, then concentrated in the middle, with flavors of red cherry, cassis, spices, bay leaf, dark chocolate and espresso. Amazingly well balanced and fresh wine, with sound, bright acids supplying wonderful lift and precision and smooth, noble tannins adding considerable power and grace. The finish goes on for minutes, highlighted by an enchanting floral-mineral quality; in my experience, the appearance of this strong floral component (in the absence of herbal or peppery aromas and flavors more typical of lesser vintages) at this early stage of development is typical of the greatest versions of Sassicaia. One of the top dozen Sassicaia bottlings ever. Interestingly, over the years owner Incisa della Rocchetta has been accused by some wine writers of harvesting much too early. In 2004 all the cabernet at Sassicaia was picked within the month of September, whereas some neighboring estates harvested well into October. Given the differences in quality achieved, some of the latter might do well to take a page out of Sassicaia’s play book."
Wine Spectator - "Shows aromas of chocolate, currant and blackberry, with a hint of Spanish cedar. Full-bodied, with firm, velvety tannins and a long finish. Racy and very well-structured. Builds on the palate. Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Best after 2012. 15,000 cases made."
The Wine Advocate - "The 2004 Sassicaia is a lovely, understated effort. Medium in body, it presents nuanced layers of sweet dark fruit, licorice, menthol and toasted oak that gradually open onto a finely-knit frame of notable length. Today it appears to be quite reticent and still holding back much of its potential. Both bottles I sampled showed less vibrancy and freshness in both color and flavors than the other top 2004s I tasted alongside it, suggesting that the wine is still suffering from bottle shock. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2022. "
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Tenuta San Guido Winery
The Tenuta San Guido is a 7,500-acre estate located in the province of Livorno on the western coastal outskirts of Tuscany near the village of Bolgheri. Marchese Mario Incisa della Rocchetta acquired it through his marriage to Clarice della Gherardesca in 1940.
The legacy of Sassicaia began in 1944, when Mario Incisa acquired a number of Cabernet Sauvignon and Franc vine cuttings and planted them on a sloping hillside of the San Guido estate, called Castiglioncello after the 11th-century castle at the vineyard's upper edge. This tiny, 3.75-acre vineyard stood alone until 1965, when a second Cabernet vineyard was planted with cuttings from the Castiglioncello parcel; the gravelly, 30-acre plot would give the wine its name: Sassicaia, "the place of many stones".
With the radical changes in the D.O.C. system of regulations as of the 1994 vintage, Sassicaia's extraordinary reputation was acknowledged through the Italian government's granting the wine its own appellation.
Sassicaia is today considered to be the new plus ultra of Italy's great red wines for its consistent excellence and its intuitive spirit. Acclaimed by the wine world's most respected voices, Sassicaia remains the legacy of its creator, Marchese Mario Incisa della Rocchetta, and his son, Marchese Nicolò Incisa della Rocchetta. View all Tenuta San Guido Wines
About TuscanyView a map of Tuscany wineries (TUSS-can-ee) Sangiovese. Most of the wine coming from Tuscany is made from some clone of this varietal, but a growing trend, started by the renegade winemakers of those Super Tuscans, is to incorporate more international varietals.
Notable FactsThe most well known sub-districts of Tuscany are Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano (note that Montepulciano here refers to the local village, not the grape variety found in the Italian region of Abruzzi). Wine labeled from these regions is DOC-regulated and Sangiovese-based blends. Quality wine from these DOC areas has been on the rise for decades, with top-notch winemakers and wineries shedding the low-quality image once held for Tuscan wine by producing consistently outstanding bottlings that range from deliciously drinkable to highly ageable. Newer to the scene are regions like Bohlgeri and the Maremma, home to of what are now termed "Super-Tuscans," named for the wine coming from the Tuscany area, but not following all of the DOC or DOCG laws required in Italy. In the 1970's, some pioneer winemakers began buying land outside of Chianti and Montalcino, and planting not only Sangiovese, but also international varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The wine they produced only fit into the lowest Italian category of "vina da tavola," but the winemakers sold the wine for high prices, creating an almost cult following, and spurning a new wine category called IGT.
A little ditty about Italy...This country has about as many wines as its had governments. With 20 different regions, hundreds of DOCs and even more indigenous varieties, the amount of wine made in Italy is mind-boggling. Most of the juice, however, remains in the country for thirsty Italians. Wine is food in Italy and its rare that a meal is consumed without a glass of vino. That said, it's not common to find many folks drinking wine without food either. In turn, it's a match, and a mighty good one at that. In fact, it's safe to say that Italian wine is a foodie wine – one that goes on the table for a myraid of meals.
For regions, the most popular are Tuscany (home of Chianti), Piedmont and the Tre-Venezie, which includes Veneto, Trentino Alto-Adige and Friuli. Other communes of note are in Southern Italy, and a few good wines are made elsewhere in the country. The islands of Sardinia and Sicily are members of the Italian winemaking community as well.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.