The Debut of Sassicaia 2011, Guidalberto 2012, and Le Difese 2012
By now you have probably heard the near redundant reviews regarding the new Super Tuscan report from the Coast and the medieval hamlet of Bolgheri, "2011 is one of the greatest vintages," "perfect ripeness," and "our finest of the new millennium." Antonio Galloni has already chimed in providing his early praise for Ornellaia (96+ pts), Masseto (94-96 pts), Redigaffi (95+ pts), and going more inland with Alceo (98 pts). The reality is the Super Tuscan birthplace of Bolgheri is truly a blessed wine region and has had strong performances from 2004 through 2012. For the pioneering wine that started it all, we have come to realize that Sassicaia, more than any other wine, is exceptional in every vintage, just a different interpretation of the noble grapes.
At first glance, one might draw some comparisons to 2009 or 2000 with the warmth and ripeness that occurred during the late summer months, but it is more than that. The new release draws on the milder elements of the vintage and the coastal evening temperature swings, bringing to mind nuances typical of cooler vintages. Sassicaia maintains its signature finesse, restraint, acidity and herbaceous undertones, and while many wines are clocking in at more than 14% alcohol for this vintage, the wine is light on its feet at 13.5%. It is a wine that demands some aging, and in time, is the Super Tuscan that pleases the Bordeaux connoisseur to the classic Napa enthusiast.
It should be noted that with each vintage, the supply of Sassicaia from the winery is depleted – worldwide demand continues to exceed supply and yields are down for both 2011 and 2012. Zachys is pleased to debut the largest allocation in the country, and like the vintages before it, the wine will sell out on its release pricing. It is a wine that has a track record of appreciating in the bottle with proper aging, as well as an investment. After just a few short years, the 2001 and 2004 are already commanding $300 a bottle, but more importantly are starting to fulfill their promise evolving as one of the great wines of the world. These are wines to cellar, while you enjoy the ripe approachability of the 2012 Le Difese and Guidalberto. The Guidalberto does contain 20% of Sassicaia fruit and is a wine that was created simply because too many enthusiasts were prematurely drinking the flagship.
Italy's First Growth and most collected wine remains one of the great values in the world of wine. Despite its success it has maintained its release price with only modest increases. At $175 it begs the question; would you prefer twelve bottles of Lafite Rothschild or 60 bottles of Sassicaia?
All My Best,