The Inside Story from Italian Wine Merchants

A Surprise Finish for Sassicaia

Posted on | November 19, 2009 | Written by Chris Deas | 1 Comment

A special week of Sassicaia came to a close as the gavel dropped for Lot #2729 at Saturday’s wine auction in Del Posto.  It was seconds earlier that my wingman lay frozen with paddle phobia in anticipation for the lot on hand: Sassicaia Magnums from the recent 2006 vintage.  What’s so significant about Magnums from a current vintage release? It’s pretty simple. This large format has already become obsolete in this highly sought year of the Super Tuscans. The one—and redundant—insider tip I can share to an aspiring collector is that magnums from cellar staples, like Sassicaia, will significantly out-appreciate standard bottles. For example, two magnums of the iconic 1985 fetched $10,200, not bad for the enthusiast who paid $120 per bottle two decades ago.  While the gunshot sound of the gavel signaled Sassicaia’s close at the podium, it also reaffirmed what IWM preached months ago. Not only does the wine rock on the palate, it excels as an investment.

However, it wasn’t the idea of 2006 Sassicaia showing signs of ‘85 glory that has left a lasting impression on me; in fact, it is quite the opposite. Earlier in the week Piero Incisa della Rocchetta and Monica Soldera joined Sergio Esposito along with twenty guests for a special evening of wines featuring Bodega Chacra, Sassicaia and Soldera Brunello di Montalcino Riserva.  For me, this line-up is as thrilling as a concert of Dylan and The Dead.  With 1982 (Sassicaia) and 1990 (Soldera Riserva) joining this unprecedented offering of Italian winemaking royalty, it would be difficult for any bottle to outshine these monuments to Italian wine.  And to no surprise the vintage bottle of Sassicaia drew raving comparisons to Mouton-Rothschild from some guests, while others were left speechless by Soldera’s wines of meditation.

But as the week came to a close, it wasn’t the 2006 Sassicaia auction lot or the historic 1982 that stuck with me; it was the Sassicaia and Soldera media sleepers of 2002 that were placed on the table beside the 1982 and 1990 vintage gems a few nights back.  Piero claims that the wines of this vintage were “a victim of the bastardization by the media,” and to miss these wines because the critics dismissed the 2002 vintage as a whole would be a serious injustice.  In fact, the 2002 Sassicaia in many ways is more representative of the house style that defines Tenuta San Guido, as opposed to the rich and concentrated version Mother Nature provided the media obsessed in 1985.  Sassicaia 2002 provides finesse and accessibility. I have to ask, why crack into the age-ability of 1999, 2001, 2004, or 2005, when 2002 is this good now?

No reason, really. It’s a Sassicaia celebration.


One Response to “A Surprise Finish for Sassicaia”

  1. wingman!
    November 19th, 2009 @ 9:27 pm

    Hey, I bought something at the auction… did you?


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