On 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.
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%
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%
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%
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%