Back in 1944 Mario Incisa della Rochetta owner of the Tenuta San Guido estate planted a small vineyard of Cabernet Sauvignon in the Bolgheri hills and changed the history of Italian wine. …and in the process, so the story goes, pissing off a lot of the local traditionalists and the Italian appellation system (if it had even existed then!) The wine he made from these vines created the whole Super Tuscan movement, which I always thought of as innovative; adding a non-traditional grape variety (Cabernet) to the local Sangiovese because that’s what would make a great wine, and to hell with the traditionalists! However it turns out he was only trying to recreate a Bordeaux blend. I prefer my original idea. …and so do the marketing men! As a result Sassicaia today is one of the most collectible and sought after wines in Italy, even if it initially could only be classified Vino da Tavola – Table Wine! …before being granted it’s own DOC (Sassicaia DOC).
I remember buying a case of Sassicaia on sight a long time ago when I saw a box of it in Wimbledon Wines, the wooden box looked so alluring I had to have it then and there! It turned out to be a weak vintage and not such an excellent buy – but I still have that lovely wooden box!
I thought this was the last bottle of that case, but there’s a price tag in euro’s on the back of this one, so in reality I have no idea where this bottle came from or how I have it in my possession. I think the case I bought back then was probably a box of 1992’s. (If only I had created this journal back then!)
Tasting this blind, Chef Barrie’s first thoughts ran to Brunello, which was a good guess – it had a lot of those qualities. Now this is where I wish I could focus more on the characteristics of a wine while tasting and hosting dinner rather than drinking and chatting too much! …and suffering the next day! However I do remember it was very enjoyable, complex and integrated, and not as much fruit as I would have thought from a Super Tuscan. But I think that is why this is such a sought after wine, it’s not overblown like the name suggests it might be – it still retains that restrained Italian style.