sassicaia, tenuta san guido, bolgheri 2016
A rich, black cherry– and black currant–flavored red, accented by cedar, wild herb and spice notes, this is supple and vibrant, with a lingering aftertaste of fruit and an emerging mineral element. Firms up nicely on the finish. Hard to keep from enjoying this now, but it will develop nicely with age. Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2021 through 2043.
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.
Coming from a long, hot, even growing season, the Cabernet Sauvignon-dominated 2016 Sassicaia sports a deep purple color as well as a beautiful bouquet of black and blue fruits, tobacco lead, lead pencil, and plenty of minerality. This carries to a medium to full-bodied wine that has good concentration, nicely integrated acidity, a notable sense of purity and elegance, and plenty of grainy tannins. This elegant, focused Sassicaia will benefit from 7-8 years of bottle age and drink nicely over the following two decades or more.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
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.