Tag Archives: Sassicaia

Supertuscan: internationally Tuscan wines

The origin of Supertuscan goes back to the last forty years: these wines were originated from the strong wish of their producers to express a renewal and an international character.
At the end of the Sixties the Marquis Incisa della Rocchetta, with the help of the ingenious enologist Giacomo Tachis, decided to experiment new methods by producing the Sassicaia, a red wine obtained from Cabernet, Sauvignon and Franc grapes, which were cultivated only in the Castagneto Carducci area (now area of the DOC Bolgheri Sassicaia) and refined in French barrique

They had analysed the soil and cleared up that its feautures were very similar to those of the Graves area, near Bordeaux, so they knew that it was not very suitable for Sangiovese, but perfect to cultivate international grapes of a very high quality.
In this way, a new concept of Tuscan wine was born, that is to say a great red wine, longlived and structured, that keeps in itself the Tuscan terroir:

a distinctive and influential wine, able to graft into the souls of the most obstinately French Cabernet, Franc, Syrah and Merlot, making them powerful and strongly able to express the Tuscan soil, by enriching them in their bouquets with scents of underbrush and balsamic herbs and refining them with violet and white flowers fragrances.
These new and more modern wines, received a lukewarm welcome in Italy, while they received great appreciation on the foreign markets from the very beginning, in particular in the USA, where the market was guided by skilful wine influencers and wine tasters such as Robert Parker, who first called them “Supertuscan” and James Suckling, well known for his publications on Wine Spectator.

Nowadays the wines that use Cabernet, Merlot or Syrah grapes, or even only Sangiovese grapes, are included into the Supertuscan category: they have some definite feautures in common, as the full-bodied taste, the longevity and the strong structure, but each one has got its own soul, history and a territory to narrate. In fact, these wines distinguish themselves by being expressions of a creative enology, (not so limited by the disciplinary rules anymore) and also the “children” of a new generation of enologists; they are able to interpret the perfect interaction between the features of a territory and the philosophy of a winery and make us meet it again in our glass.
Exactly as our I Campacci, obtained only with the grapes coming from our small Merlot vineyard.

A crù with great appeal and sensuality, that expresses the international feautures of these varieties (the spiced and jam elements, potential and structure) and the philosophy of our Estate (freshness, richness and strong in tannin because of its aging). It is produced every year in about 6000 bottles, it is a great meditation wine and suitable for a long aging.

San Leonardo 2011 and Sassicaia 2013 top all the wine charts


All of the Italian wine guides put them in first place


This year belongs to the Bordeaux blends. That is the authoritative message from the annual wine guides–Bibenda, Doctorwine, Espresso, Gambero Rosso, Maroni, Slowine, Veronelli, and Vitae--which, for once, are unanimous in bestowing their top awards on these two Italian champions.

San Leonardo and Sassicaia have always stood out for consistency of style and overall elegance. The first is produced in Borghetto all’Adige by Marchesi Guerrieri Gonzaga, while the latter is Marchese Incisa della Rocchetta’s interpretation of the terroir of Bolgheri. The common factor that unites them is that both were among Giacomo Tachis’ most cherished creations, since that great winemaker—who died last February—lavished on each his expertise and attention at the moment of their birth.      

Carlo Guerrieri Gonzaga, who launched San Leonardo in 1982, finds it “a great joy for me, for my son Anselmo, who is deeply involved in its operations, for Carlo Ferrini, who gives us inestimable guidance in crafting our wines, and for our entire winery team to see our San Leonardo sharing the topmost rung with Sassicaia. Behind this accolade lies a truly collective effort, as well as the shared conviction that once set upon our path, we should not allow ourselves to be distracted by current fashions or market demands; rather, we should unswervingly follow our vision, which above all is grounded in our distinctive self-identity. As I am fond of saying, our earth is the soul of our profession.” 


More than 1000 years ago, it was a monastery, but for over 3 centuries now San Leonardo has served as the residence of the Marchesi Guerrieri Gonzaga family, its passionate protectors. Today, the San Leonardo estate is a garden of vineyards and roses, protected by the massive barrier of the Alps, which blunt the force of the cold northern winds, while the valley floor benefits from, and in turn releases, warmth from nearby Lake Garda. The Tenuta remains an ancient world, in which winemaking practices, still uncompromisingly artisanal, yield wines that are true gems of Italy’s wine tradition, marked by freshness, harmony, and an innate elegance.