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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 2008 winter season was relatively mild and not particularly rainy except for some sporadic rainfall during the month of January; the temperatures fell around the middle of March, remaining below the seasonal average for around three weeks. This meant that plant growth was delayed by about 10 days compared to normal, having repercussions on the subsequent phenological phases (blossoming and veraison). Spring was very sunny but from 10th to 20th May, which corresponds to the blossoming period, there was frequent rain and a considerable drop in the temperature.
This lead to low yield with few bunches of grapes on each plant and an overall lower
production that has been certified at around 20% less than normal. After the May showers the summer season was fairly settled, apart an unusually hot period (about 2 weeks) between the end of August and the first 15 days of September. The course of ripening was standard for all the varieties however the grape harvest
periods were very close together.
Harvest: Given the propitious climatic conditions, the harvest was carried out as usual and without any particular adjustments, beginning in the first ten days of September and ending during the first week of October.
Wine making: The grapes were fermented in contact with the skins for approximately 15 days at controlled temperatures in steel tanks, undergoing a series of pumping overs and
Ageing: The wine ages in French oak barriques for 24 months. It is for 6 months in glass
before being released on the market.