Tenuta San Guido - Sassicaia 2020 (750ml)


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Producer Tenuta San Guido
Country Italy
Region Tuscany
Subregion Bolgheri
Varietal Proprietary Red
Vintage 2020
Sku 5697
Size 750ml

Gardini Notes: 98+ Points

Ruby color compact and brilliant. The nose has clear hints of blackberry with slightly wild touches of marjoram floral nuances of peony and a iodine-balsamic finish. In the mouth crisp red fruits tannins well blended with the fresh-saline component balsamic and licorice returns at the end excellent drinkability. A wine that will last over time Luca Gardini GardiniNotes.com

Stephen Tanzer: 98 Points

Very elegant to the nose it shows energy and character of a decidedly noble and intriguing spicy nature. The notes of wild violet blend well with wild myrtle juniper berries and coriander. The center of the wine is rich with nuances of black plums black tea leaves and cloves. Full body soft and enveloping in the sip it shows perfectly ripe noble slightly stiff tannins at the moment and a truly exciting finish that ignites from the center of the palate onwards showing a progressive ascending parabola of a select few. A vintage that puts the winemakers in the area to the test but which shows a really important complexity. Shorter than usual macerations on some vineyards and a more important percentage of new wood are the interpretation of the 2020 vintage in the San Gu

Wine Spectator: 97 Points

Complex aromas and flavors of black currant blackberry iron sweet tobacco and Mediterranean herbs are the hallmarks of this elegant tensile red which is already revealing plenty yet still feels reserved as though there were many more facets to be discovered. Superb harmony freshness and a long aftertaste prevail. Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2026 through 2045. From Italy.?B.S.

James Suckling: 97 Points

A very perfumed Sassicaia on the nose with forest floor, citrus and deep dark fruits. Blackcurrants. Cedar and black tea. Some balsamic. Pine needles. Full and very succulent. Really long, structured and complete. Tangy and energetic with a linear line of fresh tannins and acidity. Very Sassicaia throughout. 85% cabernet sauvignon and the rest is cabernet franc. Very attractive now in a youthful and vibrant way, but this will be better in three to four years. Try after 2027.

Decanter: 97 Points

Frosts damaged the the earlier-developing Cabernet Franc in late March leading to reduced production but superb quality fruit. Spring was mild and summer was generally warm but a rapid acceleration of maturation in late summer forced the team to begin picking in the first week of September to avoid any overripeness. A traditional 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Cabernet Franc blend its blackcurranty dusty leafy and cedary character is brought into focus by an intense and balsamic palate. It's poised and light on its feet with super-fresh acidity and a fine-grained almost imperceptible tannic structure. Ripe and tangy raspberry and blueberry fruits linger on the mid-palate leading to a long fresh finish with some cream and chocolate notes. This will reward cellaring into the 2050s yet you'll get plenty of pleasure from it in its youth. 'We advise to keep it at least 10 months in the bottle before opening' states third-generation Priscilla Incisa della Rocchetta. -James Button

Vinous: 97 Points

The 2020 Sassicaia is a bold rapturous wine. Dark fleshy and expansive on the palate the 2020 offers up scents of blackberry jam gravel spice new leather licorice and crème de cassis. Potent tannins are nearly buried by the sheer intensity of the fruit. Sassicaia is never a huge wine the 2020 does seem to have an extra dimension of textural intensity. It's an intensity that is hugely appealing. Estate Manager Carlo Paoli describes 2020 as a year with a long rainy winter and a cold spring. "Temperatures warmed up in the middle of June" he explained. "July was very hot but heat moderated in August. Even so it was a year in which ripeness moved quickly as opposed to 2021 when ripeness was more gradual. We picked the entire estate in 22 days instead of the 29-30 that is more typical." The 2020 spent 15-18 days on the skins followed by 25 months in French oak 50% new. Production is down about 30% because of selection in the vineyard. - By Antonio Galloni on February 2023

Wine Advocate: 96 Points

The Tenuta San Guido 2020 Bolgheri Sassicaia speaks to those who seek a more voluptuous opulent and ultimately more accessible wine. This vintage is a precise reflection of Coastal Tuscany as opposed to a more generic "Tuscan" wine from elsewhere in this large central Italian region. You taste the ripeness and soft fruit weight that comes from a coastal appellation with especially bright luminosity and warm Mediterranean offshore breezes. Sassicaia from the cool vintages is a famously reticent or withholding wine in its earliest years requiring a long lead time before it eases into an ideal drinking window. That's definitely not the case here. This wine is beautiful and compelling straight out of the gate showing a lovely mix of dark fruit oak spice balanced freshness textural richness soft tannins and an expertly contained 14% alcohol content. The wine's immediate character is what distinguishes this vintage and I wouldn't get too fussed by exaggerated cellar-aging ambitions. The wine awards sheer pleasure in its current form with dazzling primary fruit and soaring intensity over the near and medium term. In mid-November of last year I drove to Bolgheri on the Tuscan Coast to visit with Priscilla Incisa della Rochetta and managing director Carlo Paoli at Tenuta San Guido. The goal that morning was to taste through various vats of wine before the final blend of the 2020 Bolgheri Sassicaia would be determined. The experience gave me a fascinating understanding of how the celebrated Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc blend comes together and it gave me the opportunity to catch up with two of the most insightful people in Italian wine. Our conversation covered many topics but as is becoming increasingly common in today?s world we regularly returned to the subject of climate change and its effects on winemaking today. I tasted and reviewed the final blend from bottle in early January 2023. The Tenuta San Guido 2020 Bolgheri Sassicaia will be released in the upcoming months. Our tasting focused on five vats: numbers 5 6 11 29 and 33. Distinguished by harvests from various parcels across the estate (Castiglioncello Quercione and Doccino) and the type of barrel used in aging these are some of the favored vats that appear regularly in the final blend. In 2020 volume was down by almost 25% due to more restrictive fruit selection following a hot vintage. Vat 5 revealed a nervous personality with pronounced tannins and a mid-weight mouthfeel. Vat 6 was a little more closed initially with a strong mineral vein and pretty freshness. Vat 11 offered a floral bouquet with rose and violet. Vat 29 was immediately open and immensely pleasurable with ample volume sweet tannins bigger density and length. Lastly Vat 33 was subdued with crisp sensations and lingering menthol notes. My favorite Vat 29 represented the largest volume and would therefore constitute an important part of the blend. As you will read in my tasting note I found the 2020 Bolgheri Sassicaia a pleasure to drink now. This is an immediate wine that won?t require the long cellaring inherent to cooler vintages like 2019 and 2016. ?I think 2020 was a rather challenging vintage? said Priscilla Incisa della Rochetta. ?The role played by the territory and a lot of selection that we made at every stage of production was very important in this case.? As the climate changes hotter vintages like 2017 2020 and 2022 are becoming more common said Carlo Paoli. ?I remain optimistic however because we listen to nature and we better understand the advantages and disadvantages of working in hot years. We are much better at handling them today? he said. There are four winemakers working in the cellars of Tenuta San Guido along with agronomists and chemists for 360-degree in-house expertise. ?Nothing can be left to chance especially as the weather changes? he said. ?Greater control works well in the hot vintages. It?s the humid years with a lot a rain that leads to bacteria and fungal disease that cause the biggest problems.? For example the estate now employees anywhere from 40 to 100 people during harvest. That extra manpower assures better quality controls especially in vintages that see grapes coming to ripeness all at once. ?We harvest by hand and bring the grapes in crates back to the winery where they are stored in a cold room. We also harvest earlier starting at 5 a.m. instead of 7 a.m. to get the cooler outdoor temperatures? he said. Starting with the 2009 vintage they selected yeasts that perform better in warm vintages and are slower to start. Dry ice was introduced in 2015 and has been used since then. Standard maceration times range from 18 to 22 days but were shortened in 2017 which had so much natural concentration to begin with. The team limits racking to a conservative three or four times per year. The woods used at Tenuta San Guido have not changed much over the years. The estate orders 400 new barriques per year and sends back as many as 100 because Brettanomyces is more common in new barrels as the climate changes Carlo Paoli explained. The aging regime calls for one-third each of new oak one-year-old barrels and two-year-old barrels over a period of two years. Tonnelleries Taransaud and Seguin Moreau are used for the most part along with Remond Saury and Orion (from forests Allier Tronçais and Jupilles). The 2020 vintage saw 25 months in oak. Fine-grain wood for limited oxygen transmission and medium toast (over a long seasoning time) are selected.

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