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BWW- Best Wine of the 1980’s -Competition's winners have been selected!
The winner is Sassicaia 1985
First time ever, a whole decade was included in to the BWW-competition. Results of the largest 1980’s tasting in this century were surprising – the best wine of the 1980’s comes from Italy.
In the Finals, 250 best wines from vintages 1980-1989, chosen by tastingbook.com wine professionals, were evaluated and ranked as blind by the panels of 24 professionals coming from Australia, India, USA, UK, Germany, Lithuania, Norway and Finland (selected Judges from over 8000 tastingbook.com pros: wine writers, bloggers, MW's. wine makers etc.)
The Best Wine of the 1980’s -title was given to the Sassicaia 1985
“No wine has ever been as great as this from Sassicaia, and it is one of the best wines Italy has ever produced.”James Suckling 100 points
“I had this wine in a blind tasting - I have had it frequently, and have never failed to give it a perfect rating. A monumental Cabernet Sauvignon, it is one of the greatest wines made this century. Robert Parker 100 points
Other Winners of the main categories are:
Best Red Wine of the 1980’s: Winner: Sassicaia 1985, Tuscany, Italy
Best White Wine of the 1980’s: Winner: Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Montrachet 1986, Burgundy, France
Best Champagne of the 1980’s: Winner: Dom Pérignon P3 Rosé 1988, Champagne, France
Best Fortified Wine of the 1980’s: Winner: Quinta do Noval Nacional 1982, Douro, Portugal
Best Sweet Wine of the 1980’s: Winner: Château d´Yquem 1986, Sauternes, France
All the winners, TOP 100 list and prizes can be found at www.tastingbook.com
BWW – Best Wine of the World-competition is the largest wine competition in the world, whether measured by the number of wines, the number of consumers involved or the judges taking part. BWW is also by far the toughest wine competition on this planet. Unlike any other industry competition, only 1% of the wines involved will be awarded.
100 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Oddly enough, the 1985 Sassicaia was the wine least commented during the conversations that followed this retrospective. Our panel consisted of some two dozen professional wine tasters from around the world, and virtually not a word was uttered with regards to this wine. That's how truly outstanding it is. The soaring beauty of this landmark Sassicaia literally transcends the rather mundane realm of wine critique with its string of adjectives and wearisome descriptors. It hardly deserves to be treated like any of the other gorgeous wines we tasted on this glorious day. In truth, the 1985 Sassicaia does reveal a new perspective onto its perfection each time you have the fortune to taste it. I noticed a layer of bright almond-like sweetness that I don't recall tasting before. The wine seems to be getting younger, not older. Even its appearance is remarkable. Of the various samples presented from the 1980s, this wine exhibited the brightest garnet color and the most youthful personality. It shows stunning volume. The integration is seamless and the wine's many complicated pieces fit together with utmost precision like a jigsaw puzzle that renders a most beautiful Italian masterpiece when admired at completion.
99 points Wine Spectator
Unreal for its sheer hedonistic quality. Oozes rich and ripe fruit and sweet wood character, but doesn't taste overripe. Loaded with cassis and mineral flavors backed by tar and spice. Much thicker and darker in color than the '88, which is more elegant. In its history the winery has made no other Sassicaia with such massive tannins, yet the texture of the wine is supple. Made from very small yields. (
On june 5th we had a wonderful dinner in one of the best Asian restaurants in the Netherlands Restaurant Royal Mandarin. For this occasion we brought a Super Tuscan legend: the Sassicaia 1985. The bottle came from a private cellar, the wine was bought on release and stored in a conditioned environment till yesterday. The level was into neck and we decided not to decant. The colour was dark red and the bouquet displayed a wonderful sweetness and softness, quite a right bank Bordeaux character. Indeed strange for a cabernet wine. But we noticed immediately that the wine was still flattened, it had to open up. And it did ! After 5 minutes we were staring at each other, this is a 100% Mouton Rothschild 1986 nose. Then we tasted and were overwhelmed by the concentration and intensity of the cassis and dried (tutti frutti) fruit, the spices, licorice and sweetness of the oak. The wine is so unbelievable concentrated (glycerine on your lips) and so complex. On every sip you discover new elements. And so elegant and delicate. Balance is without any doubt perfect. Length > 60 seconds. In our opinion Sassicaia makes wines that last and need time to soften. The 1985 shows what this means for Sassicaia: a perfect wine, and the best Sassicaia ever. Monumental, a wine you should drink once. Ratings are almost without exception max. And we agree. BOW 10/10. This wine will last till at least 2030.
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 in the Spring 1985 was extremely consistent. Germination in the vineyards and of the individual plants also proved to be very consistent. Favourable weather conditions allowed for optimal flowering. A perfect vegetation cycle, favoured a proper development of the grapes and bunches. Secondary sprouting was not precocious, permitting normal growth control. The summer was very hot, with a good and somewhat hot autumn, in its beginning. We had little rain in the spring, while summer and early autumn were completely dry and hot.
Marchese Mario Incisa della Rocchetta, a claret lover, initially wanted Cabernet-based wines for family consumption that would satisfy his Francophile tastes. For the 1985 vintage, grapes from the estate’s three vineyards would have been crushed and fermented separately in steel tanks at 30°C for about two weeks and then blended before being aged for 22 months in 30% new barrels, of which 60% were French and 40% Slavonian. Today all the barrels are French oak, but with the same proportion of new wood.
Harvest: The grapes ripened quickly and the temperature during the vine-harvest was very high (35° - 28° C).
Wine making: Wine-making was easy because not only was the gathering of the grapes done only during cooler hours, but the fermentation vats in the wine cellars were also cooled. A rather lengthy fermentation took place in 70 and 90 hectoliters stainless steel vats for 14 days. Malic acid content of the grapes was low due to the summer and autumn climate. The high pH then encouraged a rapid malic evolution that terminated within the 10th of December.
Ageing: Slavonian oak casks and Tronçais casks were used for the ageing. The ratio being 60% of the former, and 40% of the latter, with a smaller percentage of Allier. 65% of the wood was new while the remaining 35% had been used once or twice before. The wine remained in casks for 22 months because of its elevated polyphenolic content, although new wood was also employed.
Tasting notes: Vintages like that of 1985 are rare as far as quality is concerned. The low quantities obtained from each plant, combined with the particular summer and early autumn climate, have yielded extraordinary grapes. We feel that the wine obtained is by far
superior to other harvests in taste as well as in body and in the bouquet.
Recommended glass shape
Average Bottle Price
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