Vintage : 2018
Region: Tuscany, Super Tuscan
Iconic Super Tuscan, Double 98 Points! 50th Vintage! "a beautifully balanced, finessed and classical Sassicaia"
#1 Wine Spectator WINE for 2015
RP100 Robert Parker's Wine Advocate for 2016
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.
D100 Decanter for 2016
One of the secret of Bolgheri’s mediterranean and windy climate is to turn pyrazines from the Cabernets into extra-dimensional scents of citron and leafy aromas. Sassicaia has been producing Cabernet-based wines here since 1968, which are typically marked by this fresh character on the nose. There's a note of kiwi peel that's particularly intense in this 2016, along with some cedar. In this vintage, its character is - if possible - more restrained than usual and definitely more so than the exceptional 2015. Small dark fruits lurk in the depth of the super-youthful nose, while on the palate the wine is not completely ready to drink - despite the good integration of oak, the tannins are still crunchy, perfectly ripe yet chewy, pushed by a lively acidity. An extremely elegant Sassicaia with a refined finish, this is built for the long haul and is possibly the best of this decade.
Aromas of cedar, tobacco, blue flower and spiced plum fuse together in this elegantly structured, stunning red. One of Italy’s most iconic wines, the smooth, compelling palate delivers flavors of black cherry, cassis, licorice and a hint of wild herb. Taut, polished tannins provide seamless support while fresh acidity lends impeccable balance. A savory saline note lingers on the finish.
97+ Points, Monica Larner, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: “This is a classic vintage of an Italian icon now celebrating its 50th vintage. The Tenuta San Guido 2018 Bolgheri Sassicaia lays out a familiar blueprint that borrows from the proven track record of this landmark estate that extends into the hills just beyond the Tyrrhenian shores of Tuscany. This vintage is crystalline and pure in its delivery, and if you are familiar with previous editions, it is impossible to mistake this wine for anything but Sassicaia.
The growing season started off cool and wet but turned to warm and dry conditions comfortably before the harvest. Cabernet Sauvignon with Cabernet Franc in a supporting role deliver a graceful mid-weight texture that holds back style-wise in terms of phenolic density. The wine's careful balance is achieved thanks to the nuanced character of the fruit, the present acidity, the well-managed structure and the contained alcohol.
The palate is lifted and bright, the finish is polished and long, and the wine skips over any heaviness on the mid-palate. The bouquet is especially intriguing with a very lively plummy fruit element that is enhanced by baker's chocolate, pepper spice, iron ore, caramel and pie crust. There is also a green character that adds positively to the bouquet with aniseed, tea leaf, soya, menthol rub and black olive. The fruit maturity is spot-on with no elements that feel over or underripe.
Overall, the 2018 Sassicaia weighs in with a svelte frame and long persistence. Moreover, it is distinguished by the archetypal elegance and pedigree of the classic vintages of the past. This new release gives you much pleasure to await.” 01/21