2018 Antinori Guado Al Tasso Bolgheri Superiore
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. Some 115,000 bottles were made. Drink 2024 - 2045.
Monica Larner - Wine Advocate (May 2021)
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. Drink 2024 - 2033.
Antonio Galloni - Vinous
Lots of redcurrants and flowers on the nose, together with crushed stones. Full-bodied and very layered with beautiful fruit and density, yet it remains agile and light. The tannins are totally integrated. I like the light herbal touch to the red fruit here. Flower petals. Juicy, flavorful finish with citrus zest at the end. 60% Cabernet sauvignon, 22% cabernet franc and 18% merlot. Really pretty now, but wait two or three years.
Guado al Tasso 2018 makes waves. Its nose has a leafy, almost herbal character and is quite different from the past vintages where the fruit was riper. The integration of this leafiness with restrained cassis is outstanding, the palate is silky and the tannins precise and creamy, with brilliant refreshing acidity. On the finish graphite minerality is elongated by the slightly bitter character of the wine. It represents faithfully the vintage and carries great complexity. Drink 2021-2038.
Aldo Fiordelli - Decanter