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Parker: This firmly structured, medium weight, restrained example of Sassicaia exhibits an impressive deep, dark ruby color, and a perfumed, super-ripe nose of black fruits and toasty vanillin from aging in new oak casks. In the mouth there is excellent concentration, crisp acidity, and plenty of tannin, glycerin, and alcohol in the admirable finish. Though it is neither as multi-dimensional nor concentrated as the other-worldly 1985, nor as opulent as the 1982, it is, nevertheless, another brilliant example of what heights Cabernet Sauvignon can achieve in the soils of Tuscany.
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 climatic course of 1988 had a similar evolution to 1985.
Harvest: The grapes ripened perfectly. The vegetation was luxuriant and the production of grapes showed a good sugar content and a noticeable degree of roundness of the tannins. The easy polymerization together with a richness of extractive substances showed the value of the structure and the gustative profile of the wine.
Wine making: The perfume and its complexity were evident from the beginning of vinification. The grapes were very healthy and had a noticeably thick skin rich in polyphenolic substances and glucose which gave the must a character of singular taste and colour.
Ageing: The wine was aged in barriques for 22 months, and then it was bottled.
Tasting notes: Sassicaia 1988 attained a very rich and complex bouquet that is evolving and will need a long time to show its marvellous extractive content. The wine is capable of a long or very long life in the bottle and will need at least 6 – 8 years to express in full
its character.(Tasting notes from 1990)