I demand a lot from my wines, especially when they’re north of $40 and close to $50.  I’ve always been skeptical about the “second labels” from the Bolgheri producers.   Le Volte, Le Serre Nuove, Guido Alberto…. whenever I tried one at the hands of others, I was always unimpressed. 
Recently, with Sassicaia soaring close to $200 and wondering if these “seconds” have improved, I ignored the little birdie in my head and grabbed a bottle of their Guido Alberto. 
 
Seconds are second for a reason.
 
The 2010 Tenuta San Guido – Guido Alberto is a dark violet in the glass with nice reflections of refracted light.  If only we could taste with our eyes. The aroma is restrained despite 60 minutes in a decanter.  There’s dark plums and slight mineral, but a noticeable green oak aroma. In the mouth, the wine is non-descript and muted. One dimensional dark fruits are medium bodied and uninteresting.  There’s no personality here and little resemblance to the vineyards first wine. I was hoping for a scaled down version of Sassicaia, but that is nowhere to be found.  There’s nothing particularly wrong with this wine; it’s simply not inspiring.  At about $49 – it’s a pass and a big one. Buy Brunello or Barolo or save your money for Sassicaia. 
 
Maybe it needs cellar time?  Maybe.  But I’m not willing to wait.  The role of a “second wine” is to provide near term drinking while the estate’s first wine cellars to mature perfection.  I’m not interested in waiting for a second wine to mature – especially when there are so many other options.  86 points. 

Once bitten, second wine shy.

 

The uninspiring Guido Alberto
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