Tenuta San Guido, the producer of Sassicaia, has said it is in the process of building a new winery for its ‘Guidalberto’ label.
The aim of the project is to cement the wine’s identity as distinct to that of the estate’s flagship label and avoid the assumption it is a ‘second wine’ to Sassicaia.
Guidalberto and a third label, ‘Le Difese’ are already vinified in separate winery to Sassicaia on Tenuta San Guido’s 2,500 hectare Tuscan estate.
Speaking at a presentation of the estate’s new vintages this week (28 February), co-owner Priscilla Incisa della Rocchetta explained that this current winery, “ is in an old olive oil factory and it’s just become too small for managing Guidalberto and Le Difese.”
As such, the estate is currently in the process of renovating an old brick factory on its property which will provide it with more space not just to handle the current production of Guidalberto (around 400,000 bottles) and Le Difese (300,000 bottles) but also with room to grow production as well, Incisa said.
It will be the estate’s first major building project since it revamped the cellars for Sassicaia in 2007.
Most importantly, however, Incisa said that the building of a new winery for Guidalberto was part of a broader move to distinguish the wine from its more famous stablemate.
Although fruit from young vines ultimately destined for Sassicaia are used in the blend, Incisa stressed that Guidalberto was not the ‘second wine’ of Sassicaia and “has developed its own identity” over the years since its first vintage in 2000.
Incisa added that there was also a discussion about changing the wine’s classification from its current IGT to DOC Bolgheri, though with no decision has yet been made.
The latest vintage of Sassicaia (the 2018) and its stablemates were released earlier this month, with UK agent Armit Wines reporting an “extremely successful launch”.
The 2018 has received high praise from the critics with 97 points from Antonio Galloni, James Suckling and Monica Larner at The Wine Advocate.
Galloni called it “fabulous” and “regal” and noted that it had been a vintage that particularly suited the estate’s style.
As can be seen in the charts below, the 2018 Sassicaia in terms of both current market price and score looks well-positioned as a new release, with the similarly-scored 2016 comfortably ahead.
Meanwhile, the 2019 Guidalberto hasn’t yet been bottled and has no scores from leading critics such as Galloni. He tends to pitch the better-performing wines of this label around the 92-93 point mark (he said “finesse and elegance” were the hallmarks of the 92-point 2018 for example) and at its current price buyers would no doubt be hoping for 93 or better from the 2019 for it to really look inviting.