|| NC | $282.99 | 2019 Tenuta San Guido Sassicaia

Description

Sassicaia (“stony field” in English) was created as an experimental wine in the 1940s by the Marchese Mario Incisa della Rocchetta (a cousin of the Antinoris), who dreamed of making a wine to rival great Bordeaux. On settling at his wife’s estate, he experimented with several French varieties before focusing on Cabernet Sauvignon, noting the similarity between the local gravelly terrain and that of Graves in Bordeaux.

 

His initial wines, which were heavier than other local wines, did not gain a warm reception and so, while production continued on a small scale, the first commercial release of Sassicaia did not happen until 1968. The wine was an immediate hit, and production was quickly modernized. In the 1980s, the Marchese’s cousin Ludovico Antinori began to plant his neighboring property, Ornellaia.

 

“Sassicaia 2019 spent 25 months in oak (one-third new). ‘We are going longer in oak in the past few years,’ said Carlo Paoli, managing director of Tenuta San Guido. Quite pale in the glass, the nose is extremely graceful and intense with a lavender note enhanced by restrained bramble fruits, fermented citrus peel, an intense violet aroma and graphite minerality in depth. The attack is soft and full, the flavor savoury and cedary through to the finish, with integrated velvety tannins and lifted acidity. A perfectly woven structure is bound with signature freshness and fruit vibrancy, making this one for the long haul.”
– Decanter, 100 Points

“The purity of cabernet sauvignon fruit is exceptional here, with character and sensibility that’s reminiscent of some of the great Sassicaias from the 1980s, such as 1982 or 1988. But this is much more precise and clean. Aromas and flavors of currants and berries with cedar and earth. Sage and minty character, too. It’s full-bodied yet there’s so much polish and balance, together with structure, elegance, and refinement. Hard not to drink at this stage, yet give it time and respect. This will be a classic Sass and reminds me why I love this wine. Try after 2026.”
– James Suckling, 99 Points

“Supple and beautifully defined, with black cherry, black currant and blackberry fruit augmented by tobacco, iron and thyme. Firmly structured, tightening up as this lingers with an aftertaste of dark fruit, graphite and spice. Shows a sense of elegance as well as power and intensity. Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2024 through 2045.”

– Wine Spectator, 98 Points

 

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