More Sassicaia vintages

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Sassicaia_67On the evening of the day that Jancis tasted Sassicaia back to 1975, West London wine merchant Roberson organised another tasting with Dr Sebastiano Rosa, technical director, and stepson of the owner Nicolò Incisa della Rocchetta. We started with the two IGT Toscana wines made in larger volumes than Sassicaia itself, Le Difese and Guidalberto, with the surprisingly well-preserved Sassicaia 1967 (right) as the coup de théâtre at the end.

See  Sassicaia – the background understatements for much more information on the property and the family.

San Guido, Le Difese 2007 IGT Toscana

70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Sangiovese, 12 months in mix of French and US oak, mostly ex Sassicaia. Wood is not for flavour. Always 225-litre barriques for smoother and faster maturing.
Gentle, quite delicate primary fruit with a hint of vanilla/oak sweetness. But also a fresh, almost leafy Cabernet freshness. Much less sweet once you swirl it and more leafy. Lovely freshness and intensity of fruit without over sweetness. Smooth and mouthwatering on the finish, a little savoury aftertaste. Just makes you want to keep sipping. (JH) 13%
Drink
2010
2013
16.5

San Guido, Guidalberto 2007 IGT Toscana

45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot, 10% Sangiovese, 12 months in mix of French and US oak. 10% new oak only. Better vintage than 2006.
More deeply coloured and black-fruited than the Difese. Restrained nose. Delicate dark cassis. Just a very slight leafiness. That same mouthwatering freshness as the Difese but a little more fleshy and more concentration. With time in glass, more fragrant. Sweetness of Merlot flesh but such lovely balance and more noticeable minerality. Tannins are polished and fine and dry. (JH) 14%
Drink
2011
2017
17

San Guido, Guidalberto 2003 IGT Toscana

45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot, 10% Sangiovese, 12 months in mix of French and US oak (US for Merlot).
Colour a little more developed but still red. Sweeter and riper than the 07 but still quite fresh. Spicy damson and plums but no overripeness on the nose. Perhaps a hint of black olives. Firmer, denser tannins. Less polished than the 2007 though still smooth. Touch of furniture polish but also surprisingly fragrant. Slightly exotic and a savoury aftertaste, those black olives and a leatheriness. Still so mouthwatering despite the heat of the vintage and still has some grip. (JH) 13.5%
Drink
2006
2012
16.5

San Guido, Sassicaia 2003 Bolgheri Sassicaia

‘Big and rustic in its early stages’, said technical director Sebastiano Rosa. More herbal and perfumed and open than the 2006. Black olives – very similar to the 2003 Guidalberto in vintage characteristics. Savoury and mouthwatering on the palate. Dry, savoury length. Like a food. Very satisfying and nourishing. Tannins seem to have more grip than the 2006, less refined, less mineral. More rustic and a little drier on the finish than the 06. (JH) 14%
Drink
2010
2018
17.5

San Guido, Sassicaia 1999 Bolgheri Sassicaia

Deep garnet and very little sign of age in the colour. Some cedary freshness and a touch of old polished furniture. Dark cherry and still has some cassis. Very slight touch of coffee. Rich, smooth chocolate texture but it lightens up to a refined finish. Still has great balance and length and finishes with that mouthwatering freshness that is, for me, Sassicaia’s hallmark. Lots of complexity.  (JH) 13%
Drink
2007
2016
18

San Guido, Sassicaia 1996 Bolgheri Sassicaia

Again very little sign of ageing in the colour. Distinctive slightly medicinal nose. Herbal but also dark cherries and olives and elegant on the nose. Dry tannins perhaps just starting to take the upper hand. But there’s also dark cherry fruit on the palate and a fresh, surprisingly fluid finish with that fresh acidity even with the dryness of the tannins in the mid palate. (JH) 12.5%
Drink
2004
2012
17

San Guido, Sassicaia 1993 Bolgheri

This was the last vintage the wine was classified as Vino da Tavola. Deep garnet still. Very youthful and healthy colour. Fine leafy pencil lead nose but not green. Amazing freshness and purity on the nose. Still has fine dark cherry fruit, delicacy and finesse. Mineral, dry and mouthwatering. Elegant and still has some sweetness. Less dry and better balance than the 1996. (JH) 12%
Drink
2000
2012
18

San Guido, Sassicaia 1967 Bolgheri

Since the first commercial vintage was 1968, this one must have been bottled for the family’s own consumption. It was bought at auction in London by Roberson’s, who organised this tasting, for around £550, but Sebastiano Rosa confirmed the family still had a few bottles in the cellar.
Cloudy and slghtly tawny but still some red colour in there. Lovely fresh herbal nose. Some undergrowth but also mushrooms and sweetness of plum. Bitter orange marmalade though dry tasting. Sweet, mixed dried peel orange flavours and spice. So very fresh and not dried out. Even juicy on the finish. Very long – still has some tightness about its structure – far from falling over. After 10 minutes: more perfumed, even slightly floral and touch of liquorice. And seems to become richer and deeper on the palate. Didn’t fall over at all even after 20 mins. Just becomes a little more leathery. Lots of fruit density even though the flavours are all tertiary. Finishes long and fresh. (JH) 12%
Drink
1973
2005
17.5