Mario Incisa della Rocchetta started a home wine project in 1948. In the 1970's Marios son, Nicolo, and his nephew, Piero Antinori, started to commercialize the wine. In 1978, Decanter held a wine competition of great clarets of the world, and Sassicaia took first place. A star was born and the image of Bolgheri as an important producer of Bordeaux varietals in western Tuscany was confirmed.
The name Sassicaia comes from "Sasso" which means "rocky field".
In 2013, Sassicaia was awarded its own DOC. It is the only single, private estate in Italy to have such a prestigious designation.
The wine is generally 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Cabernet Franc.
The 2016 Sassicaia is a wine of soaring achievement. I tasted this wine several times during the course of its creation in both barrel and bottle, and the highly deserved 100-point score you see here was enthusiastically assigned at the conclusion of a mini vertical in which I tasted and compared the 2016 vintage against 2015 (which I scored 97 points). It makes perfect sense to present these two excellent vintages in back-to-back comparison fashion because they are two of the best to emerge from Bolgheri, and indeed Tenuta San Guido, in recent memory. These are very similar vintages with long, hot summer months that fueled a long growing season. There was a bit more rain in 2016, and in analytical terms this vintage has a tad more acidity. However, the results in the glass are extraordinarily different. The 2015 vintage is exuberant, round, succulent and immediate, whereas the 2016 vintage shows pinpoint sharpness and precision (with similar grit and texture at the back). That acidity will carry it long into the future as the wine completes its slow evolutionary course. This wine is chiseled and sharp with blackberry, ripe cherry, grilled herb and barbecue spice. The aromas flow from the glass in a continuous stream and are all marked by radiant intensity. The mouthfeel is long and powerful. The crisp linearity of the wine's tannic backbone is perfectly measured to the volume and depth of the fruit flavors. To my mind, the 2016 Sassicaia stands tall next to the epic 1985 vintage that set the ultimate benchmark for vino italiano. ~100WA
The aromas are full of blue fruits and an underlying minerality. Hot stones and some rust to boot. Full-bodied yet refined and structured with compacted and tight tannins and an ultra-long finish. Savory and minerally at the end. Seamless texture. Great composure. ~97-98JS
The 2016 Sassicaia is a fabulous wine in the making. Powerful and concentrated, with huge tannic clout, the 2016 has so much to offer. Black cherry, plum, licorice, spice and violet all pulse with energy in an explosive, thrilling Sassicaia that will drink well for several decades. Even with all of its intensity, the 2016 is precise and beautifully polished, not to mention absolutely delicious. Don't miss it. ~96+ VM
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