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97(+?) Points | Stephen Tanzer's IWC - August 2012
(80% cabernet sauvignon and 20% cabernet franc): Bright full ruby. Pure, perfumed aromas of blackberry, cassis, lead pencil, violet and minerals, complicated by a superripe note of crushed raspberry. Extremely primary and pure, offering sharply defined cassis, violet and mineral flavors of great class. The perfectly integrated acidity and a vibrant floral character from the cabernet franc give the middle palate terrific lift. Though very ripe in its flavor profile, this wine conveys a rare lightness of touch that is typical of Sassicaia but rare for this vintage on the Tuscan Coast. Finishes with noble tannins and outstanding palate-staining length. For all its creamy power and charm, I really like this wine's balance and the subtle delivery of its complex flavors. I have tasted every vintage of Sassicaia on countless occasions and, other than the legendary 1985, I have no doubt that this is one of the two or three best Sassicaias at a similar stage of development. Though the 2009 won't surpass the once-in-a-lifetime 1985, it is starting out its life in bottle with almost the same perfectly balanced, opulent creamy texture and depth of that incredible wine, which I remember tasting both in Rome and in Tuscany immediately upon release. In fact, that wine was so good that even though I was still a university student (and thus on a student budget), it was the first time in my life I ever bought a full case. If I were a university student today, I'd do the same with the 2009, even though the price of Sassicaia is far higher today. There's profound potential here, but younger wine writers and consumers who weren't seriously involved in tasting back in the '80s may well be surprised by this wine's voluptuous, atypically opulent texture and thus miss its sheer greatness.