Tenuta San Guido Sassicaia 2003 Front Label
Tenuta San Guido Sassicaia 2003 Front Label

Tenuta San Guido Sassicaia 2003

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750ML / 14% ABV
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750ML / 14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The legacy of Sassicaia begins in 1944, when Mario Incisa acquired a number of Cabernet Sauvignon and Franc vine cuttings and planted them on a sloping hillside of the San Guido estate, called Castiglioncello after the 11th-century castle at the vineyard's upper edge. This tiny, 3.75-acre vineyard stood alone until 1965, when a second Cabernet vineyard was planted with cuttings from the Castiglioncello parcel; the gravelly, 30-acre plot would give the wine its name: Sassicaia, "the place of many stones". This and a slightly more elevated microclimate of 20 acres, called Aianova, were planted in phases between 1965 and 1985, bringing plantings to the present extent of 90 acres in vines averaging 20 to 25 years of age.

Since the late 1960s, Sassicaia has represented a standard of production that is without compromise. The grapes are hand picked, destemmed, crushed and fermentation is set off by natural yeasts in stainless steel tanks. For the first week, pumping over of the must takes place three times daily; during the second week, this is reduced to once daily until the end of the 14-day fermentation period. The wine is pressed from the skins and undergoes full malolactic fermentation. Aging takes place in 225-litre Allier and Tronçais oak barriques, approximately 30 percent of which are new, for 18 to 22 months depending on vintage.

Sassicaia is a unique interpretation of the Cabernet variety, a wine of great breadth, complexity and longevity. The intense blackberry and cassis aromas, offset by notes of smoke and spice, are confirmed on a palate of lush concentration underscored by firm, ripe tannins carrying into a long, elegant finish.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
W&S 96
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.
JS 95
James Suckling
This is a special Sassicaia that shows so much richness and density. Layered and ripe fruited. Hints of vanilla and wood. Full body, round texture and intense. Showing beautiful length and intensity. Drink or hold.
D 95
Decanter
The salinity comes through clearly at this point, which gives beautiful lift and grip. I just love how Sassicaia wines can play with tannins. They start so delicate and soft and yet close in beautifully. This has more grip and youth than the 2007. The rosemary and heat-baked herbs of Tuscany stand shoulder to shoulder with a concentrated blackberry richness and a salty tang that delivers freshness. This is the magic of Bolgheri — the coastal influence and the old vines.
WS 92
Wine Spectator
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. Best after 2008.
RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2003 Bolgheri Sassicaia is full of unexpected twists and turns. Oddly enough, this vintage offered more overall freshness and balance than the much-celebrated 2004 edition. We all know that 2003 was a very difficult year with scorching hot temperatures that broke all records. Instead of jammy flavors or overt ripeness, this wine has embraced an all-balsam aromatic profile instead. The bouquet opens to dried cassis or red currant with eucalyptus, cola, grilled rosemary and medicinal herb. The tannins are silky and fully integrated within the wine's thick textural richness. There are areas that feel flat and sedate, but this is an impressive effort overall that shows impressive stability considering the challenges of the growing season.
WE 91
Wine Enthusiast
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.
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Tenuta San Guido

Tenuta San Guido

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Tenuta San Guido, Italy
Tenuta San Guido Winery Video

The Tenuta San Guido is a 7,500-acre estate located in the province of Livorno on the western coastal outskirts of Tuscany near the village of Bolgheri. Marchese Mario Incisa della Rocchetta acquired it through his marriage to Clarice della Gherardesca in 1940.

The legacy of Sassicaia began in 1944, when Mario Incisa acquired a number of Cabernet Sauvignon and Franc vine cuttings and planted them on a sloping hillside of the San Guido estate, called Castiglioncello after the 11th-century castle at the vineyard's upper edge. This tiny, 3.75-acre vineyard stood alone until 1965, when a second Cabernet vineyard was planted with cuttings from the Castiglioncello parcel; the gravelly, 30-acre plot would give the wine its name: Sassicaia, "the place of many stones".

With the radical changes in the D.O.C. system of regulations as of the 1994 vintage, Sassicaia's extraordinary reputation was acknowledged through the Italian government's granting the wine its own appellation.

Sassicaia is today considered to be the new plus ultra of Italy's great red wines for its consistent excellence and its intuitive spirit. Acclaimed by the wine world's most respected voices, Sassicaia remains the legacy of its creator, Marchese Mario Incisa della Rocchetta, and his son, Marchese Nicolò Incisa della Rocchetta.

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GUS88031_2003 Item# 88031

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