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About Super Tuscans


The story of the Super-Tuscan pioneers began in 1944, when the noble Mario Incisa della Rocchetta perceived a likeness between the coastal soil of his Tenuta San Guido estate and that of the Graves appellation in Bordeaux. Both were rocky, as the name Graves suggests. With the assistance of Tancredi Biondi Santi he planted cuttings of Cabernet Sauvignon from Bordeaux’s Château Lafite and began to make the wine that he later christened Sassicaia, or “stony ground.” Sassicaia was introduced to the market in the late sixties following a quarter century of experimentation, the final years of which involved the notable assistance of Piero Antinori’s winemaker, the esteemed Giacomo Tachis. It immediately challenged the first growths and cult wines of the world, becoming the most collected Italian wine and a cellar trophy of aficionados. (IWM is pleased to have the largest allocation of vintage and current release bottlings.
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Marchese Antinori Chianti Classico Riserva Tignanello 2016 1.5L
Tenuta Tignanello Chianti Classico Riserva 2016 1.5L
Price: $99.99
Special Price: $74.99

Rich, expressive, and multi-layered, the ’16 Chianti Classico Riserva Tignanello radiates its excellent vintage in its transparency, energy and complexity. Peppery spices, melted chocolate, crushed river rocks, pressed violet petals, and a touch of espresso frame this wine’s sappy blue and snappy red fruits. On the palate, this ruby hued wine is a delectable confluence of contrasts--savory underpinnings complement sweet fruits, nervy acidity balances copious dry extracts, while fine-grained tannins cling to the cheeks and provide elegant structure. Chianti Classico doesn’t get much better than this Antinori bottling! A blend of 90% Sangiovese and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, the grapes derive from Antinori’s Tenuta Tignanello estate in the Chianti Classico production zone. The grapes for this wine ferment in temperature-controlled stainless steel for about ten days; the wine undergoes malolactic fermentation in French oak, and it ages for 14 months in a combination of French and Hungarian oak, followed by a year in bottle. more info
Guado al Tasso Guado Al Tasso Bolgheri Superiore 2001 750ml
Guado al Tasso Guado Al Tasso Bolgheri Superiore 2001 750ml
Price: $139.00
Currently Unavailable.

Upon release, the ’01 Guado al Tasso reflected its benchmark year with a perfumed nose of succulent red and blue fruits backed by herbs, cigar wrapper, and saline minerals. More than fifteen years later, this wine shows its pedigree in its vibrancy, intensity, and purity; it layers its juicy fruits with grilled herbs, warm saddle leather, licorice and sweet black tea. At once energetic and mellowed, the ’01 Guado al Tasso is a stunning, elegant wine that has aged into gorgeous maturity. A blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, and the remaining 10% Syrah with a mix of other red grape varieties, Guado al Tasso reflects its vintage variation with subtle changes in its composition. Antinori ferments each parcel separately, blending the mix after a year of aging; after blending, the wine ages for six months in barriques before bottling. more info
Tenuta Tignanello Chianti Classico Riserva 2016 3L
Tenuta Tignanello Chianti Classico Riserva 2016 3L
Price: $209.99
Special Price: $159.99

Rich, expressive, and multi-layered, the ’16 Chianti Classico Riserva Tignanello radiates its excellent vintage in its transparency, energy and complexity. Peppery spices, melted chocolate, crushed river rocks, pressed violet petals, and a touch of espresso frame this wine’s sappy blue and snappy red fruits. On the palate, this ruby hued wine is a delectable confluence of contrasts--savory underpinnings complement sweet fruits, nervy acidity balances copious dry extracts, while fine-grained tannins cling to the cheeks and provide elegant structure. Chianti Classico doesn’t get much better than this Antinori bottling! A blend of 90% Sangiovese and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, the grapes derive from Antinori’s Tenuta Tignanello estate in the Chianti Classico production zone. The grapes for this wine ferment in temperature-controlled stainless steel for about ten days; the wine undergoes malolactic fermentation in French oak, and it ages for 14 months in a combination of French and Hungarian oak, followed by a year in bottle. more info
Fontodi Flaccianello 2005 750ml
Fontodi Flaccianello 2005 750ml
Price: $229.99

Upon release, the ’05 Flaccianello was hailed for its intense perfume, immediate accessibility, and pretty, vibrant fruit, but what a difference a decade makes! Now with almost 15 years of maturity, this Flaccianello layers its sweet red berries, succulent blue plums, and brambly black fruits with warm earth, worn saddle leather, potpourri and kisses of cedar, umami, black tea and moss. Time has tamed this wine’s acidity and mellowed its chewy tannins, and today this powerful Flaccianello glides with an electric, silky feel to a lingering, mineral-inflected, earthy finish. Crafted from organically grown Sangiovese, this wine ferments with only natural yeasts in temperature-controlled stainless steel for about three weeks before aging in oak barrels for at least eighteen months. This ’05 Flaccianello is sublime now and for the next decade. more info
Tenuta San Guido Sassicaia 2009 750ml
Tenuta San Guido Sassicaia 2009 750ml
Price: $259.00

The child of a warm vintage, the ’09 Sassicaia is deceptively approachable, intense, and delicious; however approachable it seems, this wine in it for the long haul--even more, it’s a piece of history because the ’09 vintage marks the end of an era, the year that consulting enologist Giacomo Tachis retired. Mostly Cabernet Sauvignon touched with fifteen-percent Cabernet Franc, Sassicaia is the Bordeaux-style blend that Mario Incisa della Rochetta envisioned coming from little-known Bolgheri all those decades ago. Sassicaia is a wine famous for its elegance, vibrancy, and rich bouquet, and it’s renowned for its sweet frutti di bosco and pointed cypress and herbs, elements it holds in a temptingly firm tannic grip. Sassicaia is always one of IWM’s most in-demand wines, but a year like this one pushes even that stratospheric envelope. more info
Tenuta San Guido Sassicaia 2008 750ml
Tenuta San Guido Sassicaia 2008 750ml
Price: $349.99

“Elegant” is the defining word for the ’08 Sassicaia. With its lithe lines and aristocratic profile, it’s a graceful evocation of this important Super-Tuscan wine. Frutti di bosco, cypress, earth, and spice explode on the palate, but the wine’s balletic balance between mouth-watering acidity and velvety tannins works in tension to create an exquisite drinking experience. Mostly Cabernet Sauvignon touched with fifteen-percent Cabernet Franc, Sassicaia is the Bordeaux-style blend that Mario Incisa della Rocchetta envisioned coming from little-known Bolgheri all those decades ago. more info
Antinori Secentenario NV 1.5L
Antinori Secentenario NV 1.5L
Price: $750.00
Special Price: $399.99

Created to celebrate the 600th anniversary of Giovanni di Piero Antinori’s entry into the Florentine Winemaker’s Guild, Antinori Secentenario is a one-time bottling of epic proportions. Upon release in 1985, this non-vintage blend of multiple Tignanello vintages showed that iconic Super-Tuscan’s elegant cherry red fruit, earth and spice. Now with three decades of maturity, the Secentenario offers the classic nuances of an aged Tignanello--flowers, dried cherries, licorice, leather, and tobacco--all conveyed on an amazingly fresh body imbued with dusty tannins. In choosing to craft its Tignanello as a blend that featured Sangiovese, the Antinori family simultaneously honored its history and blazed a trail to the future. Putting Secentenario within this long-range perspective, the wine--already rare, important and collectable--attains the luster that only world-changing history can provide. more info
Fontodi Flaccianello 2004 1.5L
Fontodi Flaccianello 2004 1.5L
Price: $499.99
Special Price: $399.99

Fresh and vibrant, it offers compelling aromatics and endless layers of fruit that develop in the glass, with superb length on the palate and gorgeous overall balance. Although it is still holding back much today, make no mistake about it, Flaccianello is one of Italy's blue-chip wines and the 2004 is a profound vintage for this wine. In order to enjoy its full range of expression readers will have to wait at least another five years after which it will provide memorable drinking to age 25, perhaps longer. A recent bottle of the 1982 was still full of life when tasted a few months ago. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2029. more info
Tenuta San Guido Sassicaia 1988 1.5L
Tenuta San Guido Sassicaia 1988 1.5L
Price: $1,549.00
Special Price: $1,299.99

Upon release, the ’88 Sassicaia was a big, rock-solid, intense wine; now with almost thirty years of age, this silky, voluptuous wine is showing its promise. Ripe red fruits and juicy black fruits find their complements in savory graphite, warm tobacco wrapper, game notes, cedar wood, and tarry earth in this caressing, medium-weight wine. Firm yet elegant, this wine retains its energy while showing all the beautiful earmarks of a mature Sassicaia; it shows beautiful balance between its sweet and its savory elements, its fine-grained tannins and its minerality, its silky texture and its sweet inner perfume. 1988 is a favorite Sassicaia vintage of its makers, and you need only one glass to understand why. Tenuta San Guido ferments Sassicaia in temperature-controlled stainless steel with only indigenous yeasts; this wine ages in French oak barriques for 22 months followed by a few months in bottle before release. more info
Antinori Solaia 2016 3L
Antinori Solaia 2016 3L
Price: $2,499.99
Special Price: $1,799.99

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While Sassicaia constituted the genesis of the movement, Antinori’s Tignanello ignited its soul. In contrast to Mario della Rocchetta, Piero Antinori desired not to recreate a Bordeaux-style claret, but rather, to convey the versatility and finesse of the noble Sangiovese. Drawing upon the consummate skill of Tachis, Antinori realized his conception in the form of the second official Super-Tuscan—Tignanello—which starred Sangiovese, supported by a minor contribution from Cabernet. This constituted the debut crafting of a barrique-aged Sangiovese and the first modern red wine to include a nontraditional varietal. Tignanello was also among the Chianti zone’s initial productions sans white grapes. Antinori began with Tignanello and went on to produce Solaia in 1978 and Guado al Tasso in 1990.

Unfortunately, success wrought abuse and exploitation, perpetrated most drastically via the indiscrimate usage of international varietals, which served to discredit the native Sangiovese. This depreciation wrought a significant backlash, most notably via the efforts of the late winemaker Sergio Manetti and the flagship of his Montevertine estate—Le Pergole Torte—the first single-vineyard, 100% Sangiovese to be classed as a Super-Tuscan.

Founded by Sergio Manetti in 1967 as a hobby, Montevertine has passed far beyond the realm of a casual pastime and into Toscana's upper echelon, given Manetti's devotion to expressing the inherent quality of Sangiovese. As he believed in Sangiovese’s ability to realize a wine of quality on a solo basis, Manetti took issue with the attention lavished on the Super-Tuscan contingent and what he believed was a compromising position for Sangiovese—continued positioning in blends with the international varietals. He believed that the DOC's efforts to cultivate a wine of universal appeal undermined Sangiovese's image, implying that the grape's nature precluded its expression as a single-varietal wine. Upon withdrawing from the consortium in 1981, Manetti undertook production of various bottlings that honored his conception of Sangiovese, validating its performance sans the use of the international set and introducing only minor amounts of Canaiolo and Colorino for his Rosso bottling. Manetti passed away a few years ago, leaving the estate to his son, Martino. While some feared that Martino would alter the profile of the wines, he has wholly adhered to his father’s principles, providing wines that maintain fidelity to Sergio's vision.