In 1978 Sassicaia joined the world’s elite wines when Decanter held a tasting called ‘Great Clarets’. It consisted of 33 wines, including Bordeaux First Growths against Super Tuscans. It was here that the 1975 Sassicaia vintage took first place. During the 1980s, Sassicaia cemented itself as one of the world’s most prestigious wines, when Robert Parker gave a perfect 100 point score to the 1985 vintage, he declared that he mistook it for a 1986 Mouton Rothschild. Today the legendary Sassicaia 1985 costs more and is far rarer than the great Mouton 1986 and the former continues to excel when compared to other wines in blind tastings. In 2016 Sassicaia was again awarded 100 points from The Wine Advocate, bookending all great vintages in between.
Today we are thrilled to be able to offer a rare parcel of aged Sassicaia. Sassicaia has an enormous restaurant and hotel trade as well as a large global private client demand, selling out on release. It only produces 12,500 cases a year and three decades of sustained consumption has left a shortage of older vintages – a real shame for a wine that becomes so extraordinary with age. Consumers still find value for money and buy to drink. As such, we are always delighted when we are able to curate a parcel as strong as the below. All wines have been stored in bond in the UK since release and are in original wooden casing, the provenance is perfect. We are also offering them today at a discount to market, a brilliant opportunity for a wine which is very hard to buy with age and with this stellar provenance. We have tasted the below and they are drinking beautifully, the vintages from the 90s, along with the 2002 are vibrant, situated superbly within their drinking window, ready to open now or enjoy for another decade. The 1997 and 2006 are considered seminal, though the latter needs several more years before approaching.
A bit of History on Sassicaia
The Sassicaia Estate is situated near the Tuscan coast (Bolgheri) and has been owned by Leopoldo Incisa’s family since 1800. It was Leopoldo’s writings on vines and wines that inspired his great grandson, Mario Incisa della Rocchetta, to plant the Sassicaia vineyard on his wife’s estate, Tenuta San Guido. It is rumoured that he planted vines originally purchased from Chateau Lafite Rothschild. The first Cabernet Sauvignon vines were planted on land in Tenuta San Guido in 1940 and all the wine produced for the next 20 years remained under the ownership of family and close friends. The 1968 wine was the first vintage to be produced commercially.
The name Sassicaia comes from the Italian word for stone – sasso and its meaning can be summed up as stony fields. The vines are protected from sea breezes by the Tenuta San Guido castle and the south-west facing hill they are planted on. There are three vineyards on the estate; Castiglioncello – the original plot of land (1.5 hectares), Di Sotto (13 hectares) boasting clay soil and 40 year old vines and the Aianova (16 hectares) which provides well drained soils for vines of a similar age. Each plot is crushed and fermented separately in steel tanks at 30 degrees for around two weeks and then blended before ageing in oak. Historically they were aged in 60% French and 40% Slovenian oak. Today, however, all barrels are French, 30-40% new oak and aged for 24 months. Here you will find that 70% of the vines are Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest are Cabernet Franc.
The estate insists that it is the Cabernet Franc that is able to achieve full ripeness year on year and provides that unique finesse and famous longevity. In their youth the wine is ripe, rich, opulent and layered with black fruits, cherries, spices, minerals, herbs, new leather, caramel, smoke and toast. With age sweet fruit, tobacco, cedar, porcini mushrooms, liquorice and flowers emerge maintaining a rich body with delicate tannin and a wonderful balance of masculinity and femininity.
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