Antinori 2018 Guado Al Tasso 750ml
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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.
Score: 96 points -- Monica Larner, The Wine Advocate, 2021
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