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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.
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.