This morning we are delighted to offer the first tranche release of Sassicaia 2014. As one of the most recognisable wines in the world and one of the greatest, Sassicaia sells out quickly on release, 2014 will be no exception. In 2014 the climate in Bolgheri was cooler than in recent years. The Estate harnessed a long and cool growing season, producing an aromatic, harmonious and classic Sassicaia. In fact, the slow maturing of the Cabernet Sauvignon grapes and phenolic ripening produced desirable distinctive flavours and aromas, which have not been apparent in recent years. In 2014 the blend represents the archetypal 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Cabernet Franc.
Sassicaia 2014 does not reach the heights of the 2010 and 2013, but provides a nuanced and elegant wine. It has been awarded 92-94 points from Monica Larner of the Wine Advocate and 92-93 from James Suckling. Today’s release price is compelling at £545 per case of six bottles and provides access to one of the world’s finest wines, which is a must buy every year! As displayed by the table below, all vintages of Sassicaia displays a vintage premium, the similar scoring 2012 already trades at £630, the 2004 £920.
In addition, we are very pleased to be able to offer their second wine, Guidalberto, which releases a year ahead of Sassicaia. As such today’s release is the exceptional 2015, which has not been scored yet. However, the 2015 Sassicaia has already been awarded 97-98 points from James Suckling. The superb climatic conditions in 2015 mean this will be one of the finest Guidalbertos on the market, which priced at £120 per case of six offers immense value. Guidalberto is aged for 15 months in French oak barriques, with a small element of American oak and then three months in bottle before being released onto the market. Guidalberto’s blend is 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot. Sassicaia’s is 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Cabernet Franc but aged longer for 24 months in French barrique and six months in bottle.
A bit of history on Sassicaia
The Sassicaia Estate is situated near the Tuscan coast (Bolgheri) and has been owned by the Incisa family since 1800. It was Leopoldo Incisa’s writings on vines and wines that inspired his great grandson, Mario Incisa della Rocchetta, to plant the Sassicaia vineyard on his wife’s Estate, Tenuta San Guido. It is rumoured that he planted vines originally purchased from Chateau Lafite Rothschild. The first Cabernet Sauvignon vines were planted on land in Tenuta San Guido in 1940 and all the wine produced for the next 20 years remained under the ownership of family and close friends. The 1968 wine was the first vintage to be produced commercially.
The name Sassicaia comes from the Italian word for stone (sasso) and its meaning can be summed up as stony fields. The vines are protected from sea breezes by the Tenuta San Guido castle and the south-west facing hill they are planted on. There are three vineyards on the Estate: Castiglioncello – the original plot of land (1.5 hectares), Di Sotto (13 hectares) boasting clay soil and 40 year old vines and the Aianova (16 hectares) which provides well drained soils of a similar age. Each plot is crushed and fermented separately in steel tanks at 30 degrees for around two weeks and then blended before ageing in oak. Historically they were aged in 60% French and 40% Slovenian oak. Today, however, all barrels are French, 30-40% new oak and aged for 24 months.
The Estate insists that it is the Cabernet Franc that is able to achieve full ripeness year on year and provides that unique finesse and famous longevity. In their youth the wines are ripe, rich, opulent and layered with black fruits, cherries, spices, minerals, herbs, new leather, caramel, smoke and toast. With age; sweet fruit, tobacco, cedar, porcini mushrooms, liquorice, flowers, maintaining a rich body with delicate tannin and a wonderful balance of masculinity and femininity.
Tenuta San Guido Sassicaia 2014, 6×75, £545 IB
92-94 Points, Monica Larner, The Wine Advocate
Tasted from barrel, the 2014 Bolgheri Sassicaia is shaping up very nicely since I tasted it last year. In fact, it has made reassuring gains in terms of color density, aromatic definition and specifically textural richness. This wine will be released in 2017, but is scheduled to be bottled in November of this year (instead of January 2017) in order to allow it more time to flesh out and integrate in glass. The bouquet shows slightly rustic tones of tilled earth and spice that come on the heels of blackberry and dried cherry. The 2014 vintage is characterized by a late growing cycle. The last day of harvest was October 31. Despite the vintage challenges, primary fermentation and malolactic fermentation were executed without a hitch.
92-93 Points, James Suckling
Extremely aromatic with black currant, strawberry and cherry. Some rosemary. Full body, ultra-fine tannins and a gorgeous finish. Bright acidity. It came from all the hillside vineyards. This shows lovely potential and balance. Delicate and fine. Much better than anticipated considering the cool and wet growing season in Tuscany.
Tenuta San Guido Guidalberto 2015, 6×75, £120 IB
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