2013 Sassicaia, Tenuta San Guido, Bolgheri Sassicaia, Tuscany, Italy
Monica Larner - 28/04/2017
2013 was a big departure from the preceding two vintages. Cold, rainy weather in the spring delayed flowering and also lowered yields by 20-30% depending on the estate. The rest of the year was cool by Maremma standards, which extended the growing season by a few weeks. The end of the summer was characterized by cool nights and warm days with no heat spikes, ideal conditions for gradual ripening of tannin and the natural development of color. …….In general, the 2013s are aromatic, a bit lighter in body than is the norm, and refined in style. The personality of the year is an attractive foil to the natural richness that is such a calling card of Maremma.
93-96+ /100 Antonio Galloni, vinous.com
About this WINE
Sassicaia is today one of the most sought-after fine wines in the world. This is largely because of the vision, energy and drive of proprietor Mario Incisa della Rocchetta.
The Sassicaia estate at Bolgheri came from Mario Incisa della Rocchetta's wife's family who had owned land there since 1800 - the name Sassicaia means,place of many stones, and the gravelly soil has been compared to those found in the Médoc. He planted Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot and engaged the services of Piero Antinori`s winemaker, Giacomo Tachis.
Sassicaia's first vintage was released to universal acclaim in 1968. Sassicaia is now widely accepted as one of the world`s greatest Cabernet Sauvignon wines and made history recently, being the first single wine to be granted its own DOC. The wines of Sassicaia combine intense notes of cassis and cedary elegance, with extraordinary power and length.
Bolgheri is a new DOC in the coastal Maremma region which first rose to prominence during the 1970s with the emergence of the so-called Super Tuscan wines like Ornellaia and Sassicaia. These new ventures had rocked the DOC establishment by using high proportions of Cabernet Sauvignon, opting out of the DOC system and relabeling their wines as simply Vino da Tavola (table wine).
Having won universal acclaim and exchanging hands for unprecedented prices (higher even than Tuscany's finest examples), the authorities relented and awarded Bolgheri its own DOC. The actions of the Super Tuscans inspired a generation in Italy, even if some of the wines here have lost a little of their lustre since.
Cabernet Sauvignon lends itself particularly well in blends with Merlot. This is actually the archetypal Bordeaux blend, though in different proportions in the sub-regions and sometimes topped up with Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot.
In the Médoc and Graves the percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend can range from 95% (Mouton-Rothschild) to as low as 40%. It is particularly suited to the dry, warm, free- draining, gravel-rich soils and is responsible for the redolent cassis characteristics as well as the depth of colour, tannic structure and pronounced acidity of Médoc wines. However 100% Cabernet Sauvignon wines can be slightly hollow-tasting in the middle palate and Merlot with its generous, fleshy fruit flavours acts as a perfect foil by filling in this cavity.
In St-Emilion and Pomerol, the blends are Merlot dominated as Cabernet Sauvignon can struggle to ripen there - when it is included, it adds structure and body to the wine. Sassicaia is the most famous Bordeaux blend in Italy and has spawned many imitations, whereby the blend is now firmly established in the New World and particularly in California and Australia.
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Tasted from barrel, the exciting 2013 Bolgheri Sassicaia is shaping up to be an epic rendition of this celebrated wine. You get a clear sense of the quality of fruit with your first twirl of the glass. Even at this young stage, the wine shows impressive intensity and elegance. It boasts dark fruit nuances with bold cherry and blackberry that will gain focus and traction with time. Oak notes of vanilla and cinnamon are beginning to show their first signs of mellow integration. This was a cool but classic vintage that saw enhanced aromas, acidity and all the qualities that lead to healthy longevity. The 2013 vintage promises greatness. Drink 2018-2040
95-97/100 Monica Larner - erobertparker.com
Sassicaia’s “Bordeaux blend” is unusual in that it contains no Merlot and is simply made from the two Cabernets; Sauvignon 85% and Franc 15%. The success of the latter in Bolgheri has been a real revelation, normally difficult to ripen, it has found a niche in Bolgheri and is able to lend a cool sophistication to the blends. Sassicaia’s first commercial vintage was 1968 and can rightly claim the title “the first Super-Tuscan”, made, as it was, outside the traditional production zones and from non-traditional grape varieties.
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