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After almost 30 years of experimentation and solid work the Marquis decided to release Sassicaia´s 1968 vintage to the open market using his cousin´s, Antinori´s distribution network in the early 1970s, with instant sensation. At a Decanter tasting of Cabernet wines in London, 1978, Sassicaia from vintage 1972 beat all the other 33 wines of France and California, and since then Sassicaia has been one of the leading wines in the world and in great demand among wine collectors and investors. The marquis Mario Incisa della Rocchetta passed away in 1983. His son, Marquis Nicolò Incisa della Rocchetta, now oversees all estate operations.
Sassicaia means “the place of many stones,” and refers to the region’s gravel soil. The original vineyards have a southwest exposure with extensive sun and maritime breezes that create robust vegetation. The grapes were handpicked, destemmed and crushed before fermenting with natural yeasts for 15 days in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks. The wine was aged in French oak barriques (40% new) for 24 months, then refined for 6 months in bottle before release.
The climate was abnormal, worse than 1972 in terms of the finished product, with a very rainy summer.
Harvest: The grapes matured according to the physiological necessities.
Wine making: Due to the scarce quality and quantity of the tannins, maceration of the peels was not protracted further than necessary.Vinification took place in open oak vats with a maceration of about 10 days, folowed by the malolactic fermentation.
Ageing: The wine was aged for 18 months in Slavonian oak barrels made in Italy.
Tasting notes: There is an almost imperceptible imbalance between the acidity (pH) and the presence of eccessive tannins that have not yet completely polymerized. The wine has a good character but is not very harmonius. The season was unfriendly and the
vineyard suffered as a result. (notes from the 1970’s)