Sassenach’s 50th B’day

Just back in this office this morning, for the first time in 2022, and may I wish you all the very very VERY best of luck! 

On enjoying my morning coffee today, 4 January, I could not help but read that wine collectors (& wine buyers) are stepping up their efforts to secure some of the world’s greatest wines before global warming wipes them out. Umm?, I guess they are talking about the wine here, not the wine collectors/buyers. So, apparently, the changing weather patterns are now becoming a key factor in wine investment decisions as concerns over some of the world’s best vintages disappearing actually spur connoisseurs on to buy fine wine. “A few years ago, we would rarely get asked about climate change in the context of wine,” said Matthew O’Connell, of Livetrade journal, and according to a report by The Times newspaper. “Today, it’s usually in the top five questions new investors ask.”

It’s little surprise that experts (sorry* I do not know who they are) are worried. As a well known wine trade-rag has just reported, 2021 saw devastating frosts, floods and wildfires decimate grape crops leading to significantly reduced harvests. Such climatic events resulted in France´s wine output dropping to a historic low, while blazes in California, Oregon and British Columbia destroyed wineries and left growers with smoke-tainted grapes. However, in sharp contrast to dwindling crops, sales of fine wine shot up by 15% in 2021, says O’Connell. It is thought that buyers are adopting a ‘once they’re gone, they’re gone’ mentality about wine, and rushing to secure expressions that are unlikely to be around in years to come.

There maybe some truth in the ticking clock, and it’s not just down to smaller harvests due to climatic events. Growers are increasingly planting new, hardier grape varieties that can better withstand hotter, drier conditions. As wineries enjoy more success with these new (or in some cases, very old) varietals, the popular grapes that consumers? have become used to such as Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon & Pinot Noir may actually end up being gradually phased out, making it harder and harder to get your hands on the kind of tradable fine wine that currently excites buyers. As ever, notions of scarcity push prices up and this was reflected through several record-breaking auction bids for wine last year at the usual suspects Bonham’s, Christie’s and Sotheby´s. Fine wine even surpassed ‘GOLD’ in the secondary market!  I am then told that the trend is likely to continue during 2022 as collectors strive to stock their cellars with drops that may be extinct in decades time. And buyers’ eyes will be on the skies, watching the weather closely for their cue to invest. Well, I am not so sure about the sky but I do know we will all being keeping a keener eye out on our pockets for well priced, great & extremely drinkable wines this year. ´Don´t panic, it´s organic´.

And now for the good news! We have an important birthday to celebrate together. Oops, a large spelling error there, sorry! for that, it is supposed to read Sassicaia’s 50th B’day, though the Sassenach’s where indeed the biggest drinkers of what we all thought back in the day was a hi-level Chianti that came in a Bordeaux shaped bottle and not that whicker-basket number we where all used to in the Bistro Vino. Ontop of that this new Tuscan red was made from Cabernet Sauvignon. The 1977 vintage was the first Sassicaia I ever tasted and had even heard of, back in 1980. Drunk at a dinner in London with Alexis Lichine, bless his cottons sox, and some other almost legendary wine folk. It certainly hooked me onto something that I have never been able to let go of. I am a total Sassicaia freak. Just love the stuff, and all vintages, both good, bad, great and indifferent at that.
So what happened last year as we where heading into Christmas was that the good people in Bolgheri released their 2018 vintage of Sassicaia. Fifty years since the first release! 1968

One of the first people to give it a go was Roberto Parker and as he tasted it he mumbled “The Tenuta San Guido´s 2018 Sassicaia is an exciting and reassuring wine that brought a very happy smile to my face.” and then went on to say “the seasonal trend of 2018 was truly perfect and paid the best hommage to Mario and Nicolò Incisa della Rocchetta on such an important anniversary as this 50 year celebration.”

Carlo Paoli, the head honcho at Tenuta San Guido, added “The 2018 vintage confirms how the number (8) eight brings good luck to Tenuta San Guido,” “The 2018 vintage shows a consistent link to 2008, 1998, 1988 and, of course, the 1968 vintage that marks Sassicaia’s debut on the market.

So, on behalf of William and the WWC SA team, London City Bond ´Vinotheque´ and of course Tenuta San Guido we would like to offer you both bottles and magnums of 2018 Sassicaia (and as a small ditty, the word in local dialect means ´place of stones´ and not many people know that.)

2018 Sassicaia, Tenuta San Guido (75cl) @ GBP225 per bottle (Under Bond)

2018 Sassicaia, Tenuta San Guido (1.50cl) @ GBP475 per magnum (Under Bond)

……and as an extremely special offering we have here a unique collection:

Sassicaia Birthday Collection:   Vintages 1982 – 2018 (in total 37 bottles) @ GBP19.950 (Under Bond ex LCB VT)

“Let me be a free man, free to travel, free to stop, free to work, free to trade fine wine where I choose, free to choose my own teachers, free to follow the religion of my fathers, free to talk, think, and act for myself.” Chief Joseph, 1878