2015 Sassicaia – a ‘classic’ vintage equal to the legendary 1985, JS

Bad information? maybe or perhaps? who really nose…

I still cannot, on the whole, get used to reading vinous headlines like this one, and mainly I do not pay a lot of attention to them, does anyone, anymore?

2015 Sassicaia – a ‘classic’ vintage equal to the legendary 1985, JS
But as I happen to be in a good position, at last week’s Trade tasting, to sit down and enjoy most of Tuscany’s 2015 vintage offerings (Hi-echelon reds only please), and including obviously Tenuta San Guido’s 2015 Sassicaia, I find myself qualified to tell you that the 2015 Sassicaia has nothing to do with, what is now referred to, as above, as ‘the legendary’ 1985 Sassicaia.

Why? My tasting note from two (three) different bottles, on the same day, read:

First note at 11.30am
Being a total Sassicaia freak (my first vintage was 1977 back in 1980, seeing a bottle on the tasting table, and yes it’s just after a good breakfast, I want to grab it and go sit in the corner somewhere to polish it off, alone.

A soft herbal and deep strawberry nose leads to a wonderfully underdeveloped spicy, elegant saline-signature finish. The softest of balanced tannins. Elegant and quite drinkable now if you like your Bolgheri Cabernet Sauvignon (85%) and Cabernet France (15%) young and elegant. I am not complaining.

Second note at 13.55hs (after a very light lunch)
Plummy and cherrylike nose, with a tobacco, wild dill palate. Well balanced acidity and polished tannins. Being only two and bit years old, it is extraordinary how drinkable it is now. But of course those tannins will pan out over the years and reveal what should indeed be a super Sassicaia.

Of course I went back for more at 16hs… ish
Fresh raspberry nose with a hint of balsamic. Very fine and long Tuscan cedary finish. I would not say this is a big wine at all, considering the vintage. I am sure the tannins and the raw material will prove that in the future this will be a lovely lovely Sassicaia  But then again has there ever been a vintage of Sassicaia that is not?

Alas, in comparison with the two experts’ commentaries the following day, and the big headline from JS, I still see very little resemblance to the fabulous 1985. (1985 Sassicaia TSG bottles and magnums are in stock by the way, please check the website wine list.)

‘Love the aromas to this young red with blackcurrants, sage, cinnamon and five-spice character. Changes all the time. Full-bodied, dense and powerful with a ripe and rich tannin backbone that gives form and beauty to the ripe and beautiful fruit. Tight and very long. Approachable now but will reward more in five to six years. A classic Sassicaia.’

‘The long-awaited 2015 Bolgheri Sassicaia represents a tremendous effort that comes together with seamless precision and focus. This is a confident and proud red wine from Tuscany. Starting with the primary material at hand, you sense the quality of fruit thanks to the wine’s beautifully dark appearance and the rich texture it offers to the palate. The bouquet is amplified both in terms of volume and length. Its playlist includes dark berry fruit, spice, leather, licorice and roasted coffee bean. Yet, the mouthfeel is extremely graceful and silky. The wine’s undisputed pedigree is showcased on the palate. It should also be noted that this edition of Sassicaia feels more ready and open to me. It will age and evolve beautifully, but the 2015 Sassicaia can also be enjoyed in the medium-term. This wine is all about the here and now.’

Ornellaia 2015

Next door to the Tenuta San Guido table was the Tenuta Dell’Ornellia experience. The Volte must have had ‘bottle shock0, it was not correct, and all my tasting notes that I wrote in the Axel Heinz ‘close-up’ 2015 tasting went to the wind. I can however report that the white, 2015 Ornellia Bianco was a cracker. Mainly a Sauvignon Blanc, with real juicy, citrusy class and I just wanted to have more and more. Alas, they only make around 2,000 bottles a year, since the first vintage 2013, so I probably will not get the chance again, now.

Vivo Sassicaia!! in all your vintages from 1967 thru to 2015, you are my wine kind of wine.

PS – Having just read a lovely interview with Tignanello’s Albiera Antinori. I must share one of the answers she gave:

We have cousins who produce Sassicaia, so it’s the same area of Bolgheri. So before coming here, [I asked my cousin –Priscilla Incisa della Rocchetta] ‘can I say Sassicaia 1985 for my funeral?’ and she answered, ‘Do I have to keep some back?’ I said, ‘Yes you need to put allocation on it’. So Sassicaia 1985, a wonderful wine.