A Wine Lover’s Diary, part 711: Tenuta San Guido


The Tenuta San Guido line-up

Recently I went to a Tenuta San Guido tasting at Don Alfonso at 19 Toronto Street.

Here are my notes:

Tenuta San Guido Le Difese 2016 (70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Sangiovese – $36.95): Deep ruby colour; cedary, vanilla oak nose of cherries; medium-bodied, dry, firmly structured with lively acidity and ripe tannins. Elegant, plum flavour, beautifully balanced with an oak spice finish. (91)

Tenuta San Guido Guidalberto 2016 (60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot – $62.95): Deep ruby-purple in colour; spicy, vanilla oak, cedary, blackcurrant; medium-bodied, beautifully balanced, rich and ripe black fruit flavours. Very elegant and firm. (91.5)


Tenuta San Guido Sassicaia 2015 (85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet Franc – $231.95): Deep ruby colour; spic, cedary, blackcurrant and plum bouquet with a floral top note; medium-bodied, dry, richly extracted, perfumed cassis flavour, beautifully balanced, powerful but elegant. Quite forward. (94)

Sassicaia 2015

Tenuta San Guido Sassicaia 2013 (85% Cabernet Sauvignon 15% Cabernet Franc): Deep ruby colour; cedary, blackcurrant with vanilla oak spice; medium-bodied, dry, very Bordelais in style. (92)

Tenuta San Guido Sassicaia 2011 (85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet Franc): Deep purple-ruby colour; cedary, undergrowth, blackcurrant, plum and rhubarb nose with a light floral note; medium-bodied, dry, red and blackcurrant flavours tinged with a note of cigar box; lean and sinewy with lively acidity and firm but ripe tannins. (92)

A 5-course menu followed:

Also tasted this past several days:

Black Hills Estate Rosé 2017 (Southern Okanagan – $24.90): 100% Pinot Noir. Deep pink in colour with a minerally, raspberry nose; medium-bodied, dry, elegant, lovely mouth-feel with strawberry and orange flavours carried on a zesty acidity. (89)

Burrowing Owl Athene 2015 (Okanagan – $44.95): A blend of 58% Syrah and 42% Cabernet Sauvignon, co-fermented. Opaque purple-black in colour with a spicy, cedary nose of blackberries and vanilla oak; full-bodied, rich and full on the palate with ripe tannins. A lovely wine drinking well now. (91)

Quails’ Gate Merlot 2016 (Okanagan – $27.95): Deep purple colour; cedary, black cherry nose with notes of oak spice; medium-bodied, dry, cherry and plum flavours with fresh acidity and well-integrated oak. (90)

Hidden Bench Terroir Caché 2015 (Niagara – $44.95): From the rich 2015 vintage, a blend of 36% Cabernet Franc, 34% Merlot and 24% Malbec. Opaque purple in colour with a spicy, cedary nose of lightly peppery black fruits and vanilla oak; medium-bodied, dry and savoury with smoky, black fruit flavours. An elegant wine that’s still tight and firmly structured. Hold 4–5 years. (91)

Henry of Pelham Speck Family Reserve Riesling 2016 (Niagara – $24.95): Pale straw in colour with a spicy, minerally, grapefruit nose with a honeyed note; light to medium-bodied, just off-dry with grapefruit and honey flavours and fresh citrus acidity giving the wine great length. (90)

Henry of Pelham Pinot Noir Estate 2016 (Niagara – $24.95): Medium ruby colour; a nose of raspberries and moist earth; medium-bodied, dry, well-textured and firm with raspberry and strawberry flavours carried on lively acidity. (89)

Henry of Pelham Baco Noir 2017 (Niagara – $15.95): Opaque purple in colour, this richly extracted Bac behaves more like a vinifera than a hybrid. Spicy, slightly herbal on the nose, it shows blackberry fruit with vanilla oak notes. Medium-bodied and dry, jammy flavours of black plum and prune accented with vanilla oak fill the mouth. (89)

Pelee Island Winery Merlot 2017 (Lake Erie – $10.95): Ruby coloured with a violet rim, this tasty red offers a cedary nose of blackcurrants with oak spice. It’s medium-bodied, dry, with vibrant red and blackcurrant flavours and lively acidity. Fresh on the palate with a touch of spice on the finish, it’s great value. (89)

Pelee Island Winery Chardonnay 2017 (Lake Erie – $12.95): Light straw in colour, this bargain-priced Ontario wine has a nose of apple, lemon and undergrowth; it’s medium-bodied, dry, with apple and peach flavours and a floral note on the end taste. It’s got good length on the palate. Match it with grilled fish or chicken. (88)

Pelee Island Winery Lighthouse Riesling 2017 (Lake Erie – $13.45): Pale straw in colour with lightly floral nose of grapefruit; light to medium-bodied, crisply dry with green peach and lime flavours and a hint of spice. Long fresh finish. (88)

Quails’ Gate Old Vines Foch 2016 (Okanagan – $24.99): Dense purple in colour with a bouquet of baked plum and oak spice; medium to full-bodied, dry, black plum flavour carried on lively acidity. (88)

Les Fils des Gras Moutons Sèvre et Maine Muscadet 2016 (Loire – $14.95): Bright, pale straw in colour with minerally, lemon and lemon blossom bouquet; light-bodied, crisply dry, beautifully balanced with a long finish. A top-drawer Muscadet. (90)

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