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July 03, 2013

Sassicaia 2008

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Last May we offered Sassicaia 2006 at £1,400 a case, earmarking it as undervalued by the market. Our logic was simple; it is the highest scoring Sassicaia since the 100 Parker rated 1985 the vintage that put Sassicaia well and truly on the map as the First Growth of Italy. The 97 point scoring 2006 is remarkable and Sassicaia often refer to it as their greatest ever wine. It has gained 18% since then and is now trading at £1,700 a case.

The 2008 Sassicaia, which we feel like the 2006 last year is undervalued by the market at £1,260. The 2008 was described by Gallioni as sublime, and scored 96 points, incredibly the 3rd highest scoring Sassicaia in its history.  We believe its short-term natural trading level is £1,500 a case, in the mid-term one only has to consider the 94 point 1990 vintage, a wine in demand at £4,900 a case.

Sassicaia has become one of the most sought after wines the world over, for investment and consumption; we recently pitted the 1998 Sassicaia (90 points) against Montrose 1995 (93 Points) at a blind tasting, outshining its Bordeaux counterpart.

Sassicaia is sold in all fine Italian restaurants and decorates all other great wine lists. It has long been a favourite in the US and UK, and now Russia, Asia, stretching global supply, even in younger vintages. Sassicaia also carries a vintage premium, getting significantly more expensive as it ages.

Sassicaia 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. We posited 20 months ago that that Sassicaia would become a leading brand in Asia that is now materialising.

The price of Sassicaia is set to continue to rise and the 2008 will age for decades unquestionably developing into an incredible wine for any cellar.

The 2008 Sassicaia is a rich, deep wine imbued with notable class in its black cherries, plums, grilled herbs, minerals and smoke. The 2008 is a decidedly buttoned-up, firm Sassicaia that is currently holding back much of its potential, unlike the 2006 and 2007, both of which were far more obvious wines. Readers who can afford to wait will be treated to a sublime wine once this settles down in bottle. Muscular, firm tannins frame the exquisite finish in this dark, implosive Sassicaia. The 2008 Sassicaia is 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Cabernet Franc. The wine spent 24 months in French oak barrels. Anticipated maturity: 2018-2038.

Tenuta San Guido is on a roll these days. Over the last few years, the estate has released a number of hugely delicious wines. These new releases are nicely aligned with their respective vintages. The entry-level Le Difese and Guidalberto both capture the essence of a sunny year that made wines well suited to near-term drinking, while the 2008 Sassicaia captures the potential of a powerful vintage characterized by low yields and a late harvest.  Robert Parker, 96 points.