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Tenuta Guado al Tasso Bordeaux Red Blends from Bolgheri, Tuscany, Italy


I first had this wine during the summer of 2017 in Florence on the terrace at the Belmond Villa San Michele during dinner. This was a total crowd pleaser for a group of 6 with 6 very different palettes.

Guado al Tasso shows an intense ruby red color. The nose expresses pleasant notes of fruit and sweet spices: plums, blueberry jam, leather, licorice root and balsamic sensations. The palate is lengthy and complex, accompanied by supple and elegant tannins.
Blend: 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Cabernet Franc, 20% Merlot

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Guado al Tasso, meaning literally “Badger’s Ford”, takes its name from a common sight at the estate of Tenuta Guado al Tasso, Bolgheri, where it is produced. The vineyard is at an elevation between 44 and 58 metres (145 and 190 feet) above sea-level on stony, slightly calcareous soils. Tenuta Guado al Tasso is located 60 miles southwest of Florence, near the medieval village of Bolgheri, in an area known as the Maremma. The 900 hectares (2,223 acres) estate stretches up from the shore of the Tyrrhenian Sea to the hills, and aside from extensive vineyards, also grows wheat, corn, sunflowers, tomatoes and olive trees. Guado al Tasso was first produced in 1990.

Guado al Tasso is the prestigious flagship Bordeaux blend wine from Piero Antinori. It forms one third of his trinity of great wines Tignanello, Solaia and Guado al Tasso, which have cemented Piero as the best-known name in Italian winemaking. In fact, James Suckling has gone on record saying that Piero ‘For me is the greatest winemaker in Italy, without Piero there would be no history of great winemaking in Italy’.

Guado al Tasso unlike Tignanello and Solaia – which are located in Chianti Classico – is the family’s sprawling property located in the heartland of Super Tuscan coastal region of Bolgheri, a few minutes south of Sassicaia and Ornellaia. As such it has a wonderful climatic combination, benefiting from the coastal breeze of the Tyrrhenian Sea, vineyard elevation and the interior hills. Interestingly, Guado al Tasso takes its name from the badgers (tassi) that regularly cross the steams on the property; truly heart-warming.

Initially the blend included a little Syrah; however nowadays it has morphed into a true Bordeaux blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc, although this varied slightly in 2009. Stylistically, Guado al Tasso straddles Solaia/Tignanello and the properties belonging to the other side of the Antinori family, Ornellaia and Masseto: a master class in winemaking. Like its siblings Solaia and Tignanello, all variatels are vinified separately and macerated in stainless steel tanks for 12-14 days then aged for 14 months in new French oak barriques. Guado al Tasso fully expresses the Bolgheri terrior, fashioned with a defined structure, sublime complexity and elegance, yet rich and spicy.

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