Robert Parker 85
The 1997 vintage was universally hailed as a true breakout year for icon wines from Tuscany. In fact, it spurred a quality revolution for Italian wine in general. Sadly, the 1997 Bolgheri Sassicaia does not live up to the hype. This is an offbeat effort with an intense sense of dryness and dustiness that ultimately diminishes the wine’s pleasure factor. What little fiber there is to grab onto comes as quickly as it leaves. The effect is short and sudden. In all, this wine exhibits an advanced state of evolution. The fruit that may have still existed ten years ago is now replaced by a hollow dry oak tannin instead.
Anticipated maturity: 2017-2020
More saturated ruby. Rather similar in aromas (blackcurrant and oak spices) but a bit weightier and fuller on the nose. More concentrated than the 1996, with attractive oak notes to complement the cassis. Still, this doesn’t show the depth or complexity one might expect from an outstanding vintage. Finishes with a slight bitterness.