The precise blend of grapes used in the 2017 vintage is 83% Cabernet Sauvignon and 17% Cabernet Franc. The classic formula for Sassicaia is 85% Sauvignon to 15% Franc.
Fermentation in 2017 was shorter, with macerations lasting from 10 to 12 days for the Cabernet Sauvignon and eight to 10 days for Cabernet Franc. Macerations at Tenuta San Guido always occur in stainless steel tanks, with controlled temperatures and frequent délestages and pump-overs, giving oxygen to the yeasts and softening the tannins. During its first years of production, Sassicaia was aged in Slavonian oak casks. Today, Sassicaia is aged in French barriques (mainly from the Allier and Tronçais forests, which are known for softer tannins) for about 24 months. The barrels see medium toast and long seasoning (lasting 22 to 36 months).
The 2017 Sassicaia is a fascinating wine that symbolizes a never-ending tug-of-war between vintner and vintage. The question is who comes out on top? In this case, my money is on the vintner. This Sassicaia represents 83% Cabernet Sauvignon and 17% Cabernet Franc, with most of the fruit coming from the Tenuta's historic vineyards Castiglioncello, Quercione and Doccino. The wine's aromatic profile offers more variety-driven green highlights of wild berry, forest floor and bramble than I would have expected. With time, as the wine takes on more air in the glass, you get a hint of summer plum or cherry cough drop, and this, to my surprise, is the only subtle reminder of the hot vintage encountered. I found the aromas here to be authentically "Tuscan" in character, more so than other vintages, with balsamic and Mediterranean elements that borrow directly from the Sangiovese playbook. Score: 94, Tasted: Jan 3 2020, Drink: 2021-2040, Monica Larner - The Wine Advocate