The 2013 vintage was, on the whole, a cool one, above all in springtime and during the fall. Winter was marked by rainfall which left useful reserves of ground water in the soil. After a cool spring, a warm and sunny summer led to a proper growth and development of the plants and grapes. At the end of August, it was necessary to proceed to a manual removal of vine leaves in some of the vineyard plots in order to expose the grape bunches to direct sunlight and obtain those characteristics of extract and complexity which characterize this wine.
The selection of the grapes to be used for this wine was made from the over 100 acres (40 hectares) of Merlot in the vineyards of the estate. After a careful hand sorting and selection of the grapes in the cellar, the must went into stainless steel fermenting tanks where it fermented and remained in contact with its skins for an overall period of 20 days. The fermentation temperature was regulated on the basis of the ripeness level of the grapes: some fermented at lower temperatures to maintain greater aromatic freshness, others at a temperature of approximately 86° Fahrenheit (30° centigrade) to achieve greater structure and concentration. Different types of Merlot were accordingly produced, and each went separately into oak barrels . The malolactic fermentation took place in barrels (1/3 of which were new) and terminated by the end of the year. The finest lots, after an eight month period of aging in French oak barrels, were blended and given a final four months of barrel aging before bottling. The finished wine was aged for an additional six months in bottle before commercial release.
The Guado al Tasso estate is located approximately 50 miles (80 kilometers) to the southwest of Florence near the medieval hamlet of Bolgheri. The property, approximately 2500 acres (1000 hectares) in size, extends from the coast of the Tyrrhenian Sea to the inland hills and includes, in addition to 750 acres (300 hectares) of vineyards, wheat, barley, and oat fields and olive groves in addition to woods which are utilized to raise Cinta Senese pigs, a prized local breed.
The nose of the wine shows notes of plums and blueberries along with sweet spices and underbrush. On the palate, it is vibrant, long, and balanced. The harmony and the fullness of fruit on the finish and aftertaste are the characterizing traits of the wine.