Now Reading
The 100-Level Tremendous Tuscan That Lives As much as All of the Hype

The 100-Level Tremendous Tuscan That Lives As much as All of the Hype

Upon hearing that we are the wine editors for a well-known luxury magazine, the woman seated between us at a friend’s dinner party on a Croatian island stage whispered, “I heard that Robert Parker got paid 1 million euros to give 100 points to Sassicaia this year.” Our dining companion, a Zagreb native now living in Rome, seemed surprised when we both burst out laughing at the implausibility of her statement. To start with, Robert Parker no longer tastes Italian wine for his eponymous Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, and beyond that, we know the critic who does, who is a former colleague of ours, and we can assure all concerned that both her integrity and palate are above reproach.

It’s understandable that consumers might be suspicious of the wine rating game, but sometimes experts have to admit that a wine is, quite simply, perfect. Tenuta San Guido Sassicaia 2021 is one of those wines. Born in a season marked by a cold spring, hot midsummer, and cool August and hailing from a stony vineyard that is its own denomination—DOC Bolgheri Sassicaia—its intense freshness makes it perfect for long aging, one of the prerequisites for a perfect score. “One of the most important aspects is the favorable climate in the month of August, during the crucial period of phenolic maturation,” Priscilla Incisa della Rochetta, third generation co-owner of Tenuta San Guido, tells Robb Report. The season offered “average temperatures, ventilation and good temperature range between night and day. This allowed us to keep the grapes on the plant for several days without rushing into the harvest.”

A stunning setting to make an outstanding wine

Incisa della Rochetta, the granddaughter of Tenuta San Guido founders Clarice della Gherardesca and Mario Incisa della Rochetta, also says that the seasonal conditions allowed for “a great aromatic extraction.” A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, Sassicaia 2021 received frequent batonnage (stirring of the lees) in second- and third-use barrels for several months after primary and malolactic fermentation and was then transferred to a combination of new and used fine-grained, lightly toasted French oak for two years of maturation. The wine was then moved to stainless tanks for final selection and blending before bottling.

The first person to plant varieties native to Bordeaux in Bolgheri, Mario Incisa della Rochetta named Sassicaia for a type of local stony soil that is similar to the gravel found in Bordeaux vineyards. While this move was considered heresy at the time, his gamble has paid off handsomely, creating one of the world’s finest wines harvest after harvest. Sassicaia 2021 offers a heady bouquet of raspberry, blackberry, licorice, and clove with a whiff of rose petal. There is a soft floral note on the palate mingling with flavors of black cherry, Mission fig, brown baking spices, and milk chocolate. Racy acidity and pleasantly grippy tannins provide a sense of vibrancy on the palate that leads to a sustained finish marked by a note of cherry pipe tobacco. In a word, it is superb, and worthy of the accolades it has received. This is definitely one to lay down; Priscilla Incisa della Rochetta calls it “a vintage with a great aging potential, that will have a very long positive growth curve over time,” and suggests drinking it from 2030 on.

Source: Robb Report

View Comments (0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Copyright © MetaMedia™ Capital Inc, All right reserved

Scroll To Top