85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet Franc
The only wine from Italy to have it’s own DOC, in the 1920s the Marchese Mario Incisa della Rocchetta dreamt of creating a ‘thoroughbred’ wine and for him, as for all the aristocracy of the time, the ideal was Bordeaux. A wine made mainly from Cabernet Sauvignon was a fundamental change to the Tuscan and Piedmont tradition of Sangiovese and Nebbiolo, respectively. The innovative decision to plant this variety at Tenuta San Guido was partly due to the similarity Mario Incisa had noted between Tuscan terrain and that of Graves in Bordeaux. The Marchese's first vintages were not warmly received. Critics accustomed to light, local wines were not encouraging; it was not taken into consideration that wines made from the more complex Cabernet Sauvignon grape would need more time to mature and develop. And thus from 1948 to 1967, Sassicaia remained a strictly private affair, only to be consumed at Tenuta San Guido. Each year, a few cases were stored to age in the Castiglioncello di Bolgheri cellar. The Marchese soon realized that by ageing the wine it improved considerably. It was not until 1968 that Sassicaia was first commercially released – the welcome was worthy of a Bordeaux Premier Cru.
What The Critics Say
17.5/20 JancisRobinson.com, Julia Harding
"I had the impression that owner Priscilla Incisa Della Rocchetta and importer Armit were being a little bit defensive about this vintage - pre-empting suggestions that it was a poor vintage. But I don't think they needed to be. Deep garnet. Smoky, dark and restrained on the nose. Lots of cassis but also a lightly savoury/meaty Italianate quality. Rounded and just a little chewy. Very approachable on the palate but not very expressive on the nose. Lively, elegant and long. Firm but not resistant tannins, finely textured. Rich fruit on the finish. Moderate length. Very fresh. Coming back to this after tasting the 2002 from magnum (the winemaker thought it was a good comparison to show the way a vintage similar to 2014 had aged), this seemed refined and elegant. Juicy and still dry on the finish. Very mouth-watering and makes you want to drink more. It may be a less powerful style than in some years but a significant achievement in 2014 in an attractive, balanced style. -- A difficult vintage that required more green harvest than normal and leaf plucking round the fruit in June because of disease pressure. 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet Franc. Fermented in tank with indigenous yeasts. 11-15 days' vatting (longer than usual). Aged 24 months in French oak. Bottled in the last week. (JH)" Drink 2019 - 2030
93/100 Parker's Wine Advocate, Monica Larner
"This is my official review of the 2014 Bolgheri Sassicaia after having been graciously invited to the estate for various barrel samples spanning back several years. I have watched the evolution of this wine with a close eye and am impressed by how its real quality is diametrically opposed to the poor expectations of this difficult vintage. The nose is redolent of bright fruit and blackberry. Spice, tar and leather appear subtly at the back. The wine took on considerable weight each year I came back to taste it and this vintage was bottled earlier than average, precisely to give it more time to unwind and relax in the small confines of the bottle. This is a solid effort for sure and the wine is a stunning example of what it takes to make great wine, even when weather conditions are not in your favor." Drink 2018 - 2030
92-93/100 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."
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