Tenuta San Guido is named after Saint Guido della Gherardesca who lived during the XI century. It lies within sight of the Mediterranean Sea near Grosseto in Maremma, and stretches for 13 kilometers from the sea to the gently rolling inland hills.

The estate has its roots in three historical, defining characteristics:  Sassicaia, the wine first granted its own DOC,  the Razza Dormello-Olgiata thoroughbred stud farm and the Italian National Bird Sanctuary Padule di Bolgheri.   Many estates in Maremma share the wild nature of the Tuscan coast.  Castello del Terriccio also is a current working horse farm.  Cowboys, horses and wine; the untamed nature of the Tuscan coast.

The wedding of Mario Incisa della Rocchetta and Clarice della Gherardesca in 1930, started it all.   They shared a love for thoroughbred horses that made them form a partnership while Mario’s love for good wine made him plant Cabernet vines in 1942 for what was to become Sassicaia, unofficially, in 1968.  Today the estate is planted to 90 hectares of vines that lie approximately 200-300 meters above sea level.  In this article, we’re looking at one of the estate’s most recent releases.

~ The Tower on the Estate lends itself to the label of Guido Alberto ~

Way back in 2013 I reviewed the release of the 2010 Guid Alberto; a wine I thought had a chance to be great given the excellence of the vintage.  I was largely disappointed and wrote at the time,  “Why can’t you be more like your big brother?”

I’m not sure what 5 years has gotten us.  Another excellent vintage. A chance for redemption.  And so again, we sat down with Guido Alberto.   The 2015 Tenuta San Guido Guid Alberto is the estate’s second wine.  Unlike Sassicaia, it relies on a large portion of Merlot in the blend in an effort to make the wine more approachable at a younger age.  The 2015 is 60% Cabernet and 40% Merlot and spent 15 months in a combination of French and American oak barrique after being vinified in stainless steel.  Up to 6 months bottle aging is completed before release.

The 2015 is a deep violet color throughout with hardly any fading near the rim; very attractive to look at.   Given the young age of the wine, we decanted the bottle for an hour before dinner.  On the nose, the wine shows currant, bell pepper, plum and wood aromas that are young and linear at this point.  On the palate, the wine is dominated by the Cabernet.  I had hoped for some forwardness and plushiness from the Merlot in the blend and maybe that will emerge with cellaring, but it’s nowhere to be found at the moment.   Flavors of red plum, new wood, cedar and hints of mineral are present on the palate.  The finish is fairly long but tinged with “wet oak” and tannins that clamp down noticeably, especially without food.  I just can’t get excited about this wine.  We served this alongside grilled NY strip steaks, baked potatoes with rosemary and broccoli rabe.  86 points, about $40.  Find this wine.

~ Guid Alberto is well made and the lineage is there, but this wine has a way to go before it becomes a dynamic value ~

Salute!

 

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