Guado Al Tasso
Bolgheri DOC Superiore
Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc
The 2014 vintage was an atypical one for the Bolgheri area, particularly during the course of the summer. The abundant rainfall and the lower than average temperatures during the month of July and part of August required intensive leaf removal and crop thinning to assure a full and proper ripening of the crop. The climate improved after mid-August and became rather mild after mid-September, bringing the growing season - at least partially - back into balance.
The harvest began with the Merlot grapes on September 10th and concluded with the Cabernet Sauvignon in early October. The grapes for Guado al Tasso were sorted on two different occasions, first immediately after picking and then after destemming operations, in order to guarantee that only completely ripe berries went to the fermentation tanks. As in every harvest, the individual vineyards were sub-divided into a series of small parcels which were picked separately on the basis of their ripeness levels, distinguishing them by the characteristics of the grapes and fermenting them parcel by parcel. The fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks, and the period of skin contact lasted from 15 to 20 days. After being run off its skins, the wine went directly into small oak barrels where it was put through a complete malolactic fermentation. The various lots of wine, after a year of aging in new French oak barrels, were blended together and the wine then put back into barrel for the final six month phase of aging before bottling.
Guado al Tasso was produced for the first time in 1990. It takes its name from a curious fact: at the Guado al Tasso estate it happens quite frequently that badgers, shy animals, can be seen fording the various streams which flow through the property and this inspired the name of the property and its top wine. The estate is located some 50 miles (80 kilometers) to the southwest of the city of Florence near the medieval hamlet of Bolgheri in Tuscany’s upper Maremma. The property, 2500 total acres (1000 hectares) in size, extends from the coast to the hillsides where the vineyards are cultivated on rocky and lightly calcareous soils.
The 2014 Guado al Tasso is a less structured wine than usual but one with a crisp, savory finish and a balanced and complex fragrance. The nose shows notes of cherries under spirits, tobacco, candied oranges, and spices. The palate is vibrant, supple, and persistent with a spicy finish and aftertaste. In this vintage it was decided to use a larger percentage of Merlot and to eliminate the Petit Verdot, giving a final wine which differs from previous years: 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, and 20% Cabernet Franc.