Red, Ready, but will keep

2003 Sassicaia, Bolgheri Sassicaia, Tenuta San Guido, Tuscany

2003 Sassicaia, Bolgheri Sassicaia, Tenuta San Guido, Tuscany

Red | Ready, but will keep | Sassicaia | Code:  3367 | 2003 | Italy > Tuscany > Bolgheri | Cab.Sauvignon Blend | Full Bodied, Dry | 14.0 % alcohol

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Scores and Reviews

WA

93/100

WA - Ample, sweet and expansive, the 2003 Sassicaia offers generous notes of sweet dark fruit intermingled with notes of spices, herbs, earthiness and smoke in a full-bodied, opulent expression of this wine. It is an outstanding effort for the vintage. Some cellaring is suggested although with air this wine is drinking beautifully right now.

Niccolo Incisa della Rocchetta is upbeat about his 2003s. “Of course it was a very hot, dry vintage, but under these circumstances Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc tended to perform better than other varietals such as Merlot. I am happy with the balance of our Sassicaia although clearly we can’t call it a ‘classic’ vintage. Sassicaia is a wine that needs bottle age to show its full potential and I am confident the 2003 will age well. Today it reminds me most of the 1978.
(Antonio Galloni - Wine Advocate - Feb 07)

The Producer

Sassicaia

Sassicaia

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.

The Grape

Cab.Sauvignon Blend

Cab.Sauvignon Blend

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.

The Region

Bolgheri

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.

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