Sassicaia is of course one of the largest private estates in Bolgheri consisting of 2,500 hectares, of which around 100 hectares are planted with vines. The estate also famously consists of over 1,500 hectares of wild woodlands of which almost a third of is a protected wildlife conservation area. The first vintage of Sassicaia was the 1968, which was released in 1971, produced with the help of Antinori’s winemaker at the time, the famous Giacomo Tachis. In 2000, Sassicaia was joined by a “second wine” called Guidalberto, consisting of around 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot. Finally, in 2002, Le Difese was added to the range, made from around 45% Bolgheri Cabernet Sauvignon and 55% Sangiovese sourced from vineyards in Chianti Rufina.
Tenuta San Guido,
Le Difese – FINE WINE SALE
Bottle size: 750 ml,
In The Cellar
Careful selection and sorting of the bunches by hand. Soft destemming of the grapes. Primary fermentation took place in stainless steel vats at a controlled temperature (27-28°C). Maceration on the skins for 13-15 days for the Cabernet Sauvignon and for about 14-18 days for the Sangiovese, with successive phases of pumping over and frequent deléstage to stimulate aromatic extraction and soften the tannins. Malolactic fermentation was carried out in steel and concluded towards the end of November. At the end of the malolactic fermentation, the wine remains in steel for about 3-4 months and temperatures are kept around 10 ° C. Periodic decanting is carried out to eliminate the sediments. The wine then undergoes an aging in wood, with French oak barriques previously used for Sassicaia and Guidalberto, for an average period ranging from 6 to 8 months. At the end of the aging period in wood, the wine returns into the steel tanks where the temperature is stabilized for about 20 days at around 4-5 ° C for the necessary tartaric stabilization, before bottling.
In The Vineyard
The soils have varied and complex features with a strong presence of limestone, areas rich in marl and pebble, as well as partially clay. They are situated at an altitude between 100 and 300 meters above sea level, with a south/south-west exposure. The harvest, carried out by hand with careful selection of the bunches, began on September 7 th for the Sangiovese and on September 20 th for the Cabernet Sauvignon. The harvest ended on October 2nd.
The 2021 is a blend of 55% Sangiovese and 45% Cabernet Sauvignon and reveals all the brightness, perfume and purity of the 5 Star 2021 vintage. Fragrant and very pretty, the aromatics are full of violets, red cherries, sun raisined cranberries, pink musk and hints of black currant rock candy. The palate mouthfeel is medium bodied but beautifully creamy and textured with a real density and concentration that glides across the palate with ample supporting velvety tannins and the most delicious mouth watering acids. Expertly conceived and wonderfully constructed, clearly showing the precision, intensity and purity of an exceptional vintage. Drink this on release to enjoy its youthful vivacity or hide a few bottles in the cellar for 6 to 8+ years. One of the best Le Difese reds produced since 2002! (Wine Safari Score: 93+/100 Greg Sherwood MW)