The vineyards of Guado al Tasso’s estate sprawl across a beautiful plain encircled by “the Bolgheri Amphitheater,” rolling hillsides that face the Tyrrhenian Sea. The hillsides cupping the vineyards create a unique microclimate that encourages perfect ripening and the development of pronounced aromas. This is always a big, rich, and impeccably polished wine with powerful fruit and tannins.
There just aren't many on the level of Piero Antinori. Process this for a moment: He represents the 25th generation in an unbroken string of vintners, beginning in 1385. 26 generations! His family started accumulating knowledge about vineyard and cellar practices when Chaucer was working on The Canterbury Tales. It's difficult to comprehend. His lifetime experience cannot be overstated as he has literally been involved with wine his entire life. In fact, one of his first memories is of German soldiers shooting barrels in his family's cellars as Europe descended into chaos at the end of WWII. He has a truly encyclopedic knowledge of what it means to be a winemaker, and he understands that he is a vital link from his family's past to its future as the Antinori footprint expands across the globe.
From a warm and sunny vintage that produced darkly concentrated fruit, the Tenuta Guado al Tasso 2017 Bolgheri Superiore Guado al Tasso is a teaser and a super pleaser. This is one flashy wine. This carefully calculated blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Cabernet Franc and 15% Merlot pours from the bottle with a beautifully saturated and rich color. I double-decanted my sample before writing this review, and the wine's aromas showed immediate harmony and intensity. The wine seduces and flirts with all your senses. This vintage caps many years of study regarding blending: The Merlot is slightly decreased here, and the Cabernet Franc is slowly taking on a more important supporting role. The Petit Verdot that was used as a peppery accent two years ago has now been removed altogether. The results are pliant, seamless and fluid, and that's the big takeaway here. The wine is bountiful, round, supple and full-bodied. Unless you are decidedly not a fan of this style, there's nothing not to love. I had anticipated more tightness in terms of possible hot-vintage tannins, but I am very pleased by the general integration of the mouthfeel. The Guado al Tasso vineyards are located not too far from the sea, at a low elevation of about 60 meters above sea level. The soils are alluvial with a unique mix of limestone clay and sand, with pockets of rocks and are generally known as the Bolgheri Agglomerate.
A big, very rich red with powerful fruit and tannins, yet always polished and beautiful. Intense vanilla to the underlying ripe currants and blackberries. Full-bodied, very tight and polished. Drink after 2022, when it will be more together.
Savory and enveloping, this red has aromas of woodland berry, Mediterranean scrub and menthol. The delicious, full-bodied palate doles out juicy black cherry, ripe blackberry and star anise before an espresso finish. Polished, velvety tannins lend finesse. Drink through 2029.