Source: May 2019 Week 2, The Wine Advocate; Issue Date: 16th May 2019 (RP-98)
This stunning vintage of this landmark wine marks a slight adjustment to the blend. The 2016 Bolgheri Superiore Guado Al Tasso is no longer made with Petit Verdot. The blend is now 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot and now 20% Cabernet Franc. This small change does not go unnoticed, as this wine is absolutely seamless now—like the finest Asian silk fabric. That profound textural softness and suppleness changes the way the wine smells and tastes, with hints of momentary sweetness that are more tactile than anything else. Generally speaking, the 2016 vintage offers more elegance (slightly less concentration) and a hair more freshness compared to the 2015 edition. When I tasted this wine, the bouquet was still timid, but it will no doubt become more expressive and open as this beautiful wine continues forward along its aging trajectory. Some 120,000 bottles were made, a remarkable feat considering the extreme quality on offer.
Drink Date 2020 - 2045
Source: jamessuckling.com. Issue Date: Thursday, November 7, 2019 (JS-98)
Beautiful center palate of fruit here with ripe and silky tannins that are resolved and fine-grained. Full-bodied, polished and ever so refined. Oyster shell, stone and hints of rosemary and lavender. Driven finish. Better after 2022.
The 2016 vintage was characterized by a mild winter with sporadic but abundant rainfall which assisted in creating important reserves of ground water in the sub-soil. The vines began their cycle of growth and development a bit earlier than in a normal season and then proceeded in a regular fashion, accompanied by a sunny spring with temperatures and rainfall which respected normal seasonal averages. The summer was, on the whole, a warm one but without significant temperature peaks. The ripening of the grapes proceeded with sunny days, low rainfall, and cool evenings and nights which favored the development of aromatic components in the crop, maintaining an excellent freshness as well, an indispensable factor for elegant and long-lived grapes. The harvest began with the Merlot on September 5th, continued with the Cabernet Franc towards the middle of the month, and concluded with the Cabernet Sauvignon on October 5th.
The grapes, upon their delivery to the cellars, were selected in two different phases: first upon their arrival and then during the destemming in order to guarantee that only the finest part of the crop went into the fermentation tanks. As in every vintage, the individual vineyard plots were sub-divided into a series of single parcels to be picked on the basis of the climate of the vintage and the characteristics of the grapes, fermenting them then separately. The grapes were then fermented for a period of 15-20 days in stainless steel tanks. After being run off its skins, the wine went directly into small oak barrels where, by the end of the year, the malolactic fermentation was completed. In the month of February the wine of the finest parcels was selected and blended together. Guado al Tasso then went back into new French oak barrels where it aged until bottling in July of 2018.
A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and occasionally a small amount of Petit Verdot to best represent the complex and elegant terroir found in Bolgheri. This wine has been produced since 1990 from vineyards on alluvial soils whose composition ranges from clay-sand to clay-loam with rocky deposits known as “scheletro”.
The 2016 Guado al Tasso shows an intense ruby red color. The nose expresses pleasurable notes of fruit and sweet spices: plums, blueberry jam, leather, liquorices root, and such balsamic sensations as mint, which add freshness and complexity. The palate is long and dynamic, accompanied by supple and elegant tannins and, once again, balsamic notes. A vintage, the 2016, of exceptional elegance.