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Guidalberto steps out of Sassicaia shadow as ‘standalone wine’

Published:  15 March, 2023

Tenuta San Guido is looking to reposition its Guildaberto label as a significant Tuscan icon in its own right, according to the estate’s Priscilla Incisa della Rocchetta.

Speaking at a recent dinner in London organised by UK agent Armit Wines ahead of its annual tasting, della Rocchetta said that the time was right to encourage perception of Guildaberto as a top Super Tuscan, rather than a ‘second wine’ to its traditionally more famous stablemate Sassicaia.

“We are driving an agenda of really making Guidalberto a standalone wine, outside of Sassicaia’s influence,” said della Rocchetta.

Guidalberto was launched with the 2000 vintage, many decades later than Sassicaia, famously a wine produced for family consumption, but which fast rose to ‘Super Tuscan’ fame after the limited release of the first commercialised vintage in 1968.

However, Tenuta San Guido is now looking to achieve greater recognition of the qualities of Guidalberto, which was originally conceived as a more approachable (and affordable) expression of Bolgheri terroir.

To back this aim, eight vintages of Guidalberto were shown at the event at City Social in London, ranging from the newly released 2021 back to a 2002, with several wines in magnum.

The idea was to show the (evident) ageing potential of the wines, while also impressing upon the assembled trade tasters how accessible the wines are when still relatively youthful.

Armit’s MD Brett Fleming commented: “Sassicaia is a wine that was produced for the family, it didn’t seek fame and fortune, but it became famous.

“The Guidalberto is its own wine in its own right, and there has been investment in terms of how it is made and the cellar, but it will take time to get to the point where it is recognised as not the second wine but as a standalone wine from Tenuta San Guido estate – but this is the ambition.”

Della Rocchetta added: “This year we decided not to present [Guidalberto] with Sassicaia when we normally release our new vintages at the beginning of February, with tank samples of the Guidalberto, because it is not ready then.

“This year we separated it out, presenting after it has been bottled, to convey this message that it is a wine of its own, that stands on its own two feet.”

With its specialism in sought after Italian estates, Armit reports healthy and growing sales for high end Italian wines, both with its trade and private customers. And perhaps for this reason, the UK has been chosen as the launchpad for this new emphasis on Guidalberto ahead of taking the message to key markets across the globe.