x
  • Country ranking ?

    11
  • Producer ranking ?

    2
  • Decanting time

    2,5h
  • When to drink

    now to 2050
  • Food Pairing

    Roasted Beets with Goat Cheese

The Tb points given to this wine are the world’s most valid and most up-to-date evaluation of the quality of the wine. Tastingbook points are formed by the Tastingbook algorithm which takes into account the wine ratings of the world's 50 best-known professional wine critics, wine ratings by thousands of tastingbook’s professionals and users, the generally recognised vintage quality and reputation of the vineyard and winery. Wine needs at least five professional ratings to get the Tb score. Tastingbook.com is the world's largest wine information service which is an unbiased, non-commercial and free for everyone.

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The Story

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.

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Wine Information

Climate trend and characteristics of the year: 2016 is a vintage worthy of praise, considered by some even better than the exceptional 2015. The autumn was characterized by an unusually warm and dry climate, except for some rare abundant rains. Proper winter started in late November with cold temperatures that remained low both day and night, until the whole month of January. February, on the other hand, was more humid and with a slight increase in temperatures. These precipitations were essential to ensure the water reserve of the subsoil and guaranteed the vine's wellbeing over the summer. At the beginning of April, the sharp rise in temperatures anticipated the sprouting of about 8-10 days. The proper arrival of the summer happened during the second half of June, with beautiful sunny days and summer temperatures. Those remained in the seasonal average with the exception of the second decade of July, which was very hot. The veraison began at the end of July and the following weeks ensured an optimal phenolic and alcohol ripening of the grapes, allowing a longer permanence of the grapes on the plants. Some nocturnal rains that occurred in August offered refreshment to the plants and washed the grapes, while the cool night breezes, conditioned by the sea, have accentuated the development of the perfumes and guaranteed freshness and fragrance of the grapes that have gradually matured, without excess sugars. The harvest was carried out, thanks to the optimal conditions, until the first decade of October. The healthy and intact grapes, homogeneously matured, that were brought to the winery, gave an optimal response in organoleptic terms. Great extraction in terms of color and anthocyanic structure, combined with an extraordinary aromatic component, elegant and subtle tannins are the distinguishing features of this Sassicaia vintage.

Harvest: The entirely manual harvest began in the first ten days of September with Cabernet Franc and continued with Cabernet Sauvignon until the beginning of October. The last vineyard to be harvested was the one of Castiglioncello situated at nearly 400 meters above sea level. The grapes arrived in the cellar intact and healthy, at temperatures ranging between 20 and 23 ° C allowing spontaneous fermentation to start gradually.

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Latest Pro-tasting notes

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Written Notes

The 2016 Sassicaia is a wine of soaring achievement. I tasted this wine several times during the course of its creation in both barrel and bottle, and the highly deserved 100-point score you see here was enthusiastically assigned at the conclusion of a mini vertical in which I tasted and compared the 2016 vintage against 2015 (which I scored 97 points). It makes perfect sense to present these two excellent vintages in back-to-back comparison fashion because they are two of the best to emerge from Bolgheri, and indeed Tenuta San Guido, in recent memory. These are very similar vintages with long, hot summer months that fueled a long growing season. There was a bit more rain in 2016, and in analytical terms this vintage has a tad more acidity. However, the results in the glass are extraordinarily different. The 2015 vintage is exuberant, round, succulent and immediate, whereas the 2016 vintage shows pinpoint sharpness and precision (with similar grit and texture at the back). That acidity will carry it long into the future as the wine completes its slow evolutionary course. This wine is chiseled and sharp with blackberry, ripe cherry, grilled herb and barbecue spice. The aromas flow from the glass in a continuous stream and are all marked by radiant intensity. The mouthfeel is long and powerful. The crisp linearity of the wine's tannic backbone is perfectly measured to the volume and depth of the fruit flavors. To my mind, the 2016 Sassicaia stands tall next to the epic 1985 vintage that set the ultimate benchmark for vino italiano.

  • 100p

2016 was a dream vintage for Bolgheri, a little fresher than the more blustering 2015 and particularly well suited to Sassicaia's restrained style.
Lustrous crimson. Super-subtle, already multi-layered nose. So seductive. More polished and refined than most red bordeaux 2016s (the terrroir is warmer after all). Sumptuously long. Great balance. You can already enjoy this with food. But note that it needs considerable aeration. When I decanted it it was rather dumb but after an hour in a young wine decanter it opened out to its full minerally balsamic glory – extremely subtle and well constructed. This should have a fine future.

  • 96p
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Information

Origin

Toscana, Tuscany

Inside Information

Winemaking notes: Selection of grapes through a sorting table. Soft pressing and destemming of grapes in order not to break the skins of the berries. Subsequent alcoholic fermentation in stainless steel vats at a controlled temperature of around 28 ° - 30 ° C (without the addition of external yeasts). The macerations lasted about 13-15 for both Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. Pumpovers and frequent délestages have favored the aromatic extraction over the tannic one. The malolactic fermentation was carried out in stainless steel tanks and was completed by the end of November.

Ageing: At the end of malolactic fermentation, the wine was transferred to French oak barriques (one third new wood and the rest, first and second passage) where it rested for 24 months of aging period which is in compliance with the production regulations. During this time the various masses have been kept separated according to the vineyard of origin. The blending occurred shortly before the preparation for bottling and subsequent refinement phase in glass before marketing.

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