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.
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. (JA)
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.
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)
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)
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. Drink through 2027. (ML)
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. *Cellar Selection*
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