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June 5, 2020

Debut: Antinori’s Guado al Tasso! Time and Time Again, the Sleeper Super Tuscan with 600+ Years of Pedigree Delivers.

“I tasted a wide range of wines at Guado al Tasso just as the 2019 harvest was getting started. As is the case throughout Tuscany, the 2016s are off the charts, the 2017s are rich wines that will drink well early and the 2018s show the more mid-weight style of the year. The overarching theme in recent years has been a move towards greater freshness and vibrancy, and that is very much in evidence across this lineup.” — Antonio Galloni

First, the 2017 Sassicaia sold out in record time. Next, the 2017 Ornellaia quickly followed suit, selling out in 48 hours. Third, the typically omnipresent 2017 Tignanello, with its yields down a whopping 30%, followed a similar trajectory. However, the 2017 Super Tuscan staples are not yet complete! Bolgheri, the birthplace of the pioneering Super-Tuscan movement, is home to what we call the “First Growths” of Super Tuscans — Sassicaia, Ornellaia, Messorio, Grattamacco, Masseto, and now Matarocchio — but the value wine that stands out for us time and time again is Guado al Tasso. The Sassicaia neighbor is, as Antonio Galloni describes, a wine that exemplifies the exuberance and voluptuousness that makes Bolgheri reds so seductive.”

Unfortunately, Super Tuscans and Bordeaux blends are catching up to the Medoc, Sassicaia now commands more than $200+, Solaia more than $300+, Dominus $300+, and Masseto tops $700! We are pleased to present the always reliable and consistent 2017 Guado al Tasso from Antinori with special pricing. As we have noted, few wines capture the essence of Tuscan winemaking, combine it with such elegance, and deliver it at such an incredible value as Antinori’s Guado al Tasso. Since its inception in 1990, this coastal Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc cousin of Solaia has been one of the most consistent value finds among Super Tuscan collector wines. The wine’s quality reached a new level in the 2007 vintage when the Syrah in the historic blend was replaced by Cabernet Franc, which excels in the region of Bolgheri. We are among the first in the country to offer the benchmark Super Tuscan with special pricing.

Debut: of the Guado al Tasso and the Cheval Blanc of Bolgheri (Click to Order)



*indicates pre-arrival

In addition to the 2017 Guado al Tasso, we are pleased to present the 2016 Matarocchio. This pure expression of Cabernet Franc is the most difficult Super Tuscan to secure — more difficult than even Masseto or Messorio as a mere 300 cases are produced, with just a handful of magnums. Matarocchio is, in fact, Piero Antinori’s swan song (before retirement), and it has only been produced and released in seven vintages — 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, and, from what might be the crowning achievement to date, 2016. The 2016 Matarocchio, made in limited release by the Antinori family, represents arguably the greatest vintage in Bolgheri, alongside the 2004 and 2010.

Matarocchio is not your typical Left Bank Bordeaux interpretation from the Tuscan coast; in fact, it is more in line with Cheval Blanc as it illustrates Piero Antinori’s dedication to Cabernet Franc. Choice selections derive from just five rows of vines within Tenuta Guado al Tasso. It is fair to say that, as is true with Merlot, some of the finest expressions of Cabernet Franc are from Bolgheri, and both of these noble varietals are challenging the Right Bank of Bordeaux with wines like Masseto and Matarocchio. As happens at Guado al Tasso’s neighbor Masseto at Ornellaia and the Antinori family’s sunny plot of Solaia at Tignanello, the grapes here reach another level from the unique blend of soils and conditions that rightfully captured the attention of Renzo Cotarella and Piero Antinori.

Additional Notes and Reviews:

2017 Tenuta Guado Al Tasso Guado Al Tasso Bolgheri Superiore
Renzo Cotarella, Chief Enologist, Marchesi Antinori: “Guado al Tasso 2017 is intensely ruby red in color. Its nose is intact, clean and powerful and has hints of small red ripe fruits such as raspberries, wild strawberries, arbutus, wild blackberries and pleasant notes of laurel and mint. Its entry on the palate is soft, voluminous and persistent with a tannic texture that is dense and silky. Remarkable for its extraordinary balance and equilibrium between power and grace. This vintage can be enjoyed now but also possesses excellent aging.”

Monica Larner, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate: “From a warm and sunny vintage that produced darkly concentrated fruit, the Tenuta Guado al Tasso 2017 Bolgheri Superiore Guado al Tasso is a teaser and a super pleaser. This is one flashy wine. This carefully calculated blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Cabernet Franc and 15% Merlot pours from the bottle with a beautifully saturated and rich color. I double-decanted my sample before writing this review, and the wine's aromas showed immediate harmony and intensity. The wine seduces and flirts with all your senses. This vintage caps many years of study regarding blending: The Merlot is slightly decreased here, and the Cabernet Franc is slowly taking on a more important supporting role. The Petit Verdot that was used as a peppery accent two years ago has now been removed altogether. The results are pliant, seamless and fluid, and that's the big takeaway here. The wine is bountiful, round, supple and full-bodied. Unless you are decidedly not a fan of this style, there's nothing not to love. I had anticipated more tightness in terms of possible hot-vintage tannins, but I am very pleased by the general integration of the mouthfeel. The Guado al Tasso vineyards are located not too far from the sea, at a low elevation of about 60 meters above sea level. The soils are alluvial with a unique mix of limestone clay and sand, with pockets of rocks and are generally known as the Bolgheri Agglomerate.”


2016 Tenuta Guado Al Tasso Matarocchio
Antonio Galloni, Vinous: “The 2016 Bolgheri Superiore Matarocchio, the estate's pure Cabernet Franc, is stunning. Dark, sumptuous and super-expressive, the 2016 is a seamless, exotic beauty. Even with all of its richness, the 2016 remains finessed and nuanced to the core, with exceptional balance and tons of energy. This vibrant Bolgheri Cabernet Franc will drink well for many years…”

Cheers to Piero Antinori, the Tuscan patriarch of the family who has been producing wine in the region for more than 600 years and continues to reach new heights while remaining true to their roots! This is an email ONLY offer. Should you have any questions about these exciting wines, or would like to take advantage of this offer we ask that you email orders back to me at chris.deas@italianwinemerchants.com, connect with your portfolio manager, or mention receipt of this offer if calling the store. All orders subject to confirmation.

All my best,
Chris



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