Sassicaia is an Italian red wine, which is typically a blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Cabernet Franc. This is similar to the Bordeaux blend. The wine was originally produced by the Italian wine producer Tenuta San Guido in the (DOC 1990) Bolgheri in Toscana. Sassicaia is considered the first of the Super Tuscans. Sassicaia means “the place of many stones,” and refers to the region’s gravel soil. The original vineyards have a southwest exposure with extensive sun and maritime breezes that create robust vegetation. Grapes are handpicked, destemmed and crushed before fermented with natural yeasts in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks. The wine is aged in French oak barriques, then refined in bottle before release. Sassicaia’s success prompted the Italian government to grant the wine its own appellation, Bolgheri Sassicaia DOC, beginning with the 1994 vintage.
The first bottle was produced by Incisa della Rocchetta on the Tenuta San Guido estate in 1948 using Cabernet Sauvignon vines sourced from the Chateau Lafite-Rothschild in France. For many years it was only used for family consumption, with the first commercial quantities released in the mid 1970s.
This wines fame grew when at a 1978 Decanter tasting of great clarets, which included a panel of reputed wine experts including Serena Sutcliffe and Hugh Johnson, a 1972 Sassicaia won best wine over a field of 33 wines from 11 different countries. This cemented the wines reputation as the best produced in Italy, rivalling the classic Bordeaux wines of [[regions:france|France]].
Sassicaia are intense ruby red in color, which tends to garnet red with ageing. They are dry, full bodied, robust wines with rich elegant aromas and structure. These wines, like a good woman, improve with age. They are best served with intense flavored foods such as game or roasted pigeon, they also go well with mature cheeses.