2003 Tenuta San Guido "Sassicaia" Bolgheri
Wine & Spirits
Great terroirs often prove themselves in the most extreme vintages, as Sassicaia has done in the violent heat of 2003. The vineyard produced a supple, subtle and elegant wine. To describe the fruit character one might resort to analogies with black currant and smoky black tea, but it's more a textural experience for now, a mass of pleasure, hard to grasp. Its oak treatment delivers the kind of heady richness found in young Latour; its soil character provides a completely different context, though no less grand. Probably best starting at ten to fifteen years of age, this is balanced to develop for years after that.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Ample, sweet and expansive, the 2003 Sassicaia offers generous notes of sweet dark fruit intermingled with notes of spices, herbs, earthiness and smoke in a full-bodied, opulent expression of this wine. It is an outstanding effort for the vintage. Some cellaring is suggested although with air this wine is drinking beautifully right now. (AG)
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Dark ruby-red. Appealing smoky, minerally aromas of red cherry, blackcurrant and plum, with a hint of truffle. Quite suave on entry, then smooth and fine-grained, with good mineral lift to the decidedly sweet red fruit flavors. This broad, rich and supple wine boasts tremendous length and silky-sweet tannins. A great Sassicaia that falls roughly between the '88 and the '85 in style at the similar stage of development, although I'm not sure the new vintage will attain the heights reached by those earlier wines. (ID)
Lots of raspberry and cherry on the nose. Full-bodied and chunky with lots of fruit and a long, velvety finish. Hints of new wood. Big and juicy Sassicaia. Very well done for the vintage. (JS)
*Cellar Selection* It’s almost criminal to taste Sassicaia before its prime. The 2003 vintage should be ready after 2010. A blend of 85% Cab Sauvignon and 15% Cab Franc that aged 24 months in barrique, notes of cassis, exotic spice, menthol and green olive come through despite the hot vintage. It’s powerful in the mouth with crispness and refined tannins.
‘Big and rustic in its early stages’, said technical director Sebastiano Rosa. More herbal and perfumed and open than the 2006. Black olives – very similar to the 2003 Guidalberto in vintage characteristics. Savoury and mouthwatering on the palate. Dry, savoury length. Like a food. Very satisfying and nourishing. Tannins seem to have more grip than the 2006, less refined, less mineral. More rustic and a little drier on the finish than the 06. 17.5/20 points (JH)