First tasted at the Tenuta San Guido estate in September 2010, when I visited with Jancis Robinson. In a line up of three vintages, 2007, 2008 and 2009 (the latter two from cask), Jancis likened them in style to Lafite, Latour and Mouton, in that order. The 2008 was very complete, with very little oak showing through (they only use 20% new oak) Still primary fruit, but quite delicious, savoury and very fresh, with super fine tannins and a beautifully restrained finish. Tasted again at Vinitaly (under very hot conditions) the wine had closed up considerably but still showed extraordinary class. Many say that this is the best Sassicaia to date. L&S (Apr 2011)
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This is fantastic. Intense and super long on the palate. It's insanely complex yet subtle with so much going on, with a beautiful balance and tension. It is full and powerful with a big juicy character that goes on for minutes. Muscular yet covered with pretty fruit. Elegance with force. Hard not to drink. But better in 2016. Rating: 98 James Suckling, www.jamessuckling.com (Aug 2012)
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. Drinking range: 2018 - 2038 Rating: 96 Antonio Galloni, www.vinous.com (Aug 2011)
This is the best young Sassicaia in years. It's the new 1988, which was great, and sometimes better than the legendary 1985. What incredible aromas here with blueberries, spices, licorice, plums. Graphite too. Subtle and complex. Full and silky with a beautiful texture of fine tannins and an ultra-fine finish. So beautiful now but will be much better in 2015. Owner Niccolo Incisa della Rocchetta says that Sassicaia is always great in years that end with eight: 1958, 1968, 1978, 1988, 1998, and 2008. Rating: 97 James Suckling, www.jamessuckling.com (Jun 2011)
Tenuta San Guido Incisa della Rocchetta
Sassicaia is the only single estate wine in Italy with its own appellation - Bolgheri Sassicaia. It was the original "Super Tuscan" and is a blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Cabernet Franc, aged for 24 months in French barriques, of which these days ony 20% are new. Mario Incisa della Rochetta, part of a grand old Italian family who's roots extend back to the Renaissance and beyond, and cousin of the Antinoris, married Clarice della Gherardesca in 1930 and with his wife came some land in Bolgheri. The story of Sassicaia was just beginning. Mario dreamed of making a wine like the grand vins of Bordeaux and, noticing a similarity between his Bolgheri vineyards and those of the Graves, decided to plant some Cabernet Sauvignon. In the early years the wine was just for consumption on the estate and was not always well appreciated. Fortunately, a few cases were put away to age with each vintage and, once time had worked its magic, it became clear that these were wines that only truly showed their majesty with a few years in bottle. The first vintage released for commercial sale was the 1968 and it transformed Tuscan wine and has given rise to a host of imitators and rivals. Sassicaia is now revered, not only as one of the best wines in Italy, but as one of the best wines in the world.
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