The first thing anyone mentions when talking about the Tentua San Guido estate is how it came into existence – and there's a reason for that, because the story makes for an interesting one.
In the 1920s, the wine favoured by the aristocracy was bordeaux. The Marchese Mario Incisa della Rocchetta dreamt of creating his own 'thoroughbred wine', and, having settled at Tentua San Guido on the Tyrrhenian coast in the 1940s, began to experiment with cabernet sauvignon, breaking with the Tuscan and Piedmont tradition of using mainly sangiovese and nebbiolo grapes.
Incisa had astutely noted the similarity in terrain between the Bordeaux region and the gravelly vineyards of Tuscany, and went on to call his wine Sassicaia, which is derived from the Italian word for 'stony ground'.
It was a slow road to success though; the first vintages weren't warmly received until the Marchese realised the importance of giving the cabernet sauvignon grape more time to mature. Once his revolutionary wine-making style had been perfected, the first Sassicaia was commercially released in 1968 – the very first Super Tuscan.
39 years later, and we were lucky enough to sample the 2014 vintage in the company of Mario's granddaughter Priscilla Incisa. The wine boasts distinctive cherry notes and a light spiciness you'd expect from the blend of cabernets sauvignon and cabernet franc. Aged in French barriques before being bottled, it's well-rounded in body and acidity, but still feels light on palate.
It's ready to drink now, but as Priscilla pointed out, Sassicaia is known for its maturation – resist drinking it now, if you can, and you'll reap the rewards in years to come.
£545 for six bottles; for more information and to register interest, visit armitwines.co.uk