About Guado Al Tasso 2018 Bolgheri Superiore, Antinori
The wines of the Antinori family are nothing less than remarkable. This incredible Super Tuscan is the flagship wine of their Bolgheri Estate, Tenuta Guado Al Tasso. The Guado al Tasso estate’s most characteristic geographic feature is the Bolgheri Amphitheater, a beautiful plain encircled by rolling hillsides that faces the Tyrrhenian Sea. The shape of the territory creates a unique microclimate with beneficial temperature fluctuations. The estate’s vineyards are located at the foot of the amphitheater, an optimal position as cold nocturnal breezes cool down the vines. These particular climatic conditions give the grapes pronounced aromas and guarantee a perfect ripening of the berries.
This 2018 is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. As in every vintage, the individual vineyard plots were sub-divided into a series of single parcels to be picked on the basis of the climate of the vintage. Each parcel was fermented separately for a period of 15-20 days in stainless steel tanks. After being run off its skins, the wine went directly into small oak barrels where, by the end of the year, the malolactic fermentation was completed. In the month of February the wine of the finest parcels was selected and blended together. The wine aged in new French oak barrels for 14 months.
The Wine Advocate scored this 96 points saying "Renzo Cotarella, managing director of Marchesi Antinori tells me that the 2018 vintage showed very different results in the inland and hilly Chianti Classico appellation compared to the flat, sea-facing Bolgheri appellation. This season saw some rain right before harvest. That extra humidity rolled right off the Chianti Classico hills and disappeared without effect, but it stuck around longer in the thicker, flatter soils of Guado al Tasso. For this reason, one of the estate's top wines, the Cabernet Franc-based Matarocchio, was not produced in 2018 for fear that the fruit would not offer the concentration required of a wine of that important stature. The best of that fruit was used in this wine instead. For that reason, the 2018 Bolgheri Superiore Guado al Tasso sees a little more Cabernet Franc (clocking in at about 22% of the blend) and less Merlot, with the rest being Cabernet Sauvignon, of course, (at about 60%). To be honest, the percentage of Cabernet Franc has been deliberately creeping up over the years to render a more focused and sharper bouquet. Aromas of dark fruit and freshly milled white pepper replace the more banal cherry-based flavors delivered by the Merlot, and the wine appears more lifted and precise as a result. The Cabernet Sauvignon delivers spice and licorice, and these pretty aromas are likewise given more breathing room, thanks to the counterparts found in the Cabernet Franc. Linearity, sharpness, pencil shavings and dark currant or blackberry—this is the direction Guado al Tasso is taking, and this 2018 vintage opens the door to a new chapter for the wine."
Vinous scored this 95+ points saying "The 2018 Guado al Tasso is silky, delicate and exceptionally polished. I can’t remember tasting another Guado like it. Medium in body and gracious, the 2018 offers up a compelling mélange of dark fruit, chocolate, cedar, licorice and dried herbs, all in a mid-weight style that is incredibly appealing. The 2018 has just been bottled, so it needs time to bounce back. I can’t wait to taste it with a bit more time in bottle."