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. Drink 2028-2050.
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. Drink 2024-2042.