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Flat front label of wine
Flat front label of wine

Tenuta San Guido Sassicaia (1.5 Liter Magnum) 1986

Bordeaux Red Blends from Tuscany, Italy
  • RP93
0% ABV
  • JS98
  • D98
  • WS97
  • RP97
  • WE97
  • WE95
  • W&S94
  • RP93
  • JS93
  • WS92
  • WE98
  • JS98
  • RP97
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  • WW94
  • W&S93
  • WE99
  • JS95
  • W&S94
  • RP92
  • WS95
  • RP94
  • JS94
  • D93
  • WS94
  • JS94
  • RP91
  • JS98
  • D98
  • RP96
  • WS93
  • W&S92
  • RP97
  • JS97
  • WS94
  • W&S93
  • WE95
  • RP95
  • JS93
  • WS93
  • RP96
  • WS94
  • WE94
  • W&S92
  • WS94
  • RP93
  • WE97
  • WS94
  • RP90
  • W&S96
  • WS92
  • RP92
  • WE91
  • WE90
  • WS94
  • W&S95
  • WS93
  • WS95
  • RP91
  • WS94
  • RP92
  • WS91
  • RP91
  • WS90
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Winemaker Notes

Grape blend: 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet Franc

Critical Acclaim

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RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Forever in the shadow of the legendary vintage that precedes it, the 1986 Sassicaia never garnished the attention or accolades that this wine truly merited. This is yet another underdog vintage that showed surprising results in this retrospective (and likewise has never been formally reviewed by Robert Parker Wine Advocate). This effort from 1986 offers integrity and grace with fine and finessed aromas of dried berry, tobacco, tar, licorice and grilled rosemary. That elegance has prevailed over the many years this wine has evolved in the bottle. This vintage does not show the heavy darkness of 1987. Instead the wine offers a vertical approach with bright intensity and fresh menthol.
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Tenuta San Guido

Tenuta San Guido

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Tenuta San Guido, Tuscany, Italy
Video of 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.

One of the most iconic Italian regions for wine, scenery, and history, Tuscany is the world’s most important outpost for the Sangiovese grape. Ranging in style from fruity and simple to complex and age-worthy, as well as in price from budget-friendly to ultra-premium, Sangiovese makes up a significant percentage of plantings here, with the white Trebbiano Toscano trailing far behind.

Within Tuscany, many esteemed wines have their own respective sub-zones, including Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino, and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. The climate is Mediterranean and the topography consists mostly of picturesque rolling hills, perfect for Sangiovese as it ripens most efficiently on slopes with maximum exposure to sunlight.

Sangiovese at its simplest produces straightforward pizza-friendly wines with bright red fruit and not much more, but at its best it shows remarkable complexity. Top-quality Sangiovese-based wines can be expressive of a range of characteristics such as sour cherry, balsamic, dried herbs, leather, fresh earth, dried flowers, anise and tobacco. Brunello in particular is sensitive to vintage variation, performing best in years that are not too hot and not too cold. Chianti is associated with tangy and food-friendly dry wines at various price points. A more recent phenomenon as of the 1970s is the “Super Tuscan”—a wine made from international grape varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Syrah, with or without Sangiovese. These are common in Tuscany’s coastal regions like Bolgheri, Val di Cornia, the island of Elba and more inland, in Carmignano.

Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington, and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde river, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux can be bold and fruit-forward or restrained and earthy, while New World facsimiles tend to emulate the former style. In general, Bordeaux red blends can have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful, and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb, or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or virtually any other grape deemed worthy by the winemaker. In Australia, Shiraz is a common component.

MGD140838_1986 Item# 140838