Tenuta Guado al Tasso is a 2,500-acre (1,000ha) estate in the Bolgheri region on the Tuscan coast of Italy, ‘the former Tenuta Belvedere,’ (Nicolas Belfrage, 2001, p397). It produces wine under the Bolgheri and Maremma Toscana DOCs.It stretches from the Tuscan coast to the Bolgheri hills (Schoenfeld, B: 31/2011). It is located near the medieval hamlet of Bolgheri, on the Tuscan coast (Tyrrhenian sea), 96 kilometers (60 miles) to the southwest of Florence. The estate takes its name from badgers (“tasso” in Italian) which are sometimes seen crossing fords (“guado” in italian) in the streams on the estate.

Owner | Marchesi Antinori. The house was built by Piero Antinori’s parents after they had married in the 1920s.

Staff | Vineyards: Marco Ferrarese. Hospitality: Luisa Foschetti.

Vineyards | There are 300 hectares (750 acres) of land, of which only 50% was in production in 2002 but by 2013 the vineyard may have doubled in size.

Terroir | The estate ‘stretches from the coast inland for several kilometres…rising towards the range of hills which runs parallel with the coast some 8km inland called the Colline Metallifere,’ (Nicolas Belfrage, 2001, p397). Flattish land between two parallel roads in the centre of the so-called “Bolgheri amphitheater”: rolling hillsides that surround a plain and which slope gently towards the sea.

Organic certification | 2017 No.

Winery | Pink façade. Big barrel room. New winery built in 2018 (check date), ground level (high water table here).

White wines

Camillo, Bolgheri Vermentino DOCVermentino from the Camillo vineyard no longer, this was the first  planting. The Vermentino was replaced by Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc in Camillo. New Vermentino plantings were moved from the hills to sandier soil where water availability is easier. Guyot pruning. | 1996 The first Vermentino to be produced at the Guado al Tasso estate was the 1996. | 2003 108,000 bottles. | 2012 Yields 20% down: low bunch numbers and drought. |  2011  Wines generally rich in alcohol, full and structured. 100% hand picked in two phases, the first in mid-September and the second, more than a month later, on October 18th. The grapes, once in the cellars, were destemmed and softly pressed. The must was then chilled for 24 hours in stainless steel tanks to favour a natural settling of the impurities, and the clean must, immediately afterwards, fermented at temperatures which never exceeded 16° centigrade (61° Fahrenheit). A small part of the must from the first stage of picking was added to the late-harvest wine to give greater freshness and crispness. Five per cent of this must was then aged in oak barrels used once previously. The wine remained for three months on its fine lees which were periodically stirred. The barrel-aged wine was added to the blend in January, while bottling took place in mid-March. | 2018 ‘Looking for floral citrus aromas. Wants acidity. Ripens quite late, picked after the Merlot nomally. Vermentino aroma profile hard to judge from the juice. Bitter skins so need to be careful at pressing. Mid-Sept. Staggered picking when plots are ripe. No MLF. Bottled early. Use cultured yeast. A versatile grape, can mould it in the winery. Works with lees, reduction want, more complex aroma. More lees ageing in hot vintages. Around 350,000 bottles plus,’ Marco told us at the winery 26 Sept 2019.

Pink wines

Gherardo, Bolgheri Rosato DOC | Gherardo takes its name from the farm of the same name, located near the vineyards where the grapes were picked, vineyards which are part of the Guado al Tasso estate. | 2011 Merlot and Cabernet Franc with a small percentage of Syrah. See the Camillo Bianco for detail of the weather conditions during this vintage. Hand picked, each variety is pressed and cold settled in steel separately. The must was then racked into stainless steel tanks where it fermented. After six or seven days the wine was racked into small oak barrels where the fermentation continued until no residual sugar was left. The aging in oak barrels lasted, in general, for three months, and during this period the lees were stirred to keep them constantly suspended in the aging wine. At the end of the aging period, the wine was tasted and selected barrel by barrel in order to define the final blend, which took place in stainless steel tanks. The wine remained in the tanks until mid-March, when it was bottled.

Scalabrone, Bolgheri Rosato DOC | 1997-2001 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 20% Sangiovese. |  2002 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 10% Syrah, 10% others. | 2003 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 10% Syrah, 10% others. 100,000 bottles. | 2004-2007 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 10% Syrah and other red varieties. 2008-2012 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 30% Syrah

Red wines

Matarocchio, Maremma Toscana Rosso | 2007 100% Cabernet Franc. Hand picked into 15 kilogram packing cases for transport to the cellars, where the grapes were carefully selected by hand both before and after destemming. A soft pressing then followed, along with a five day cold maceration, at 50° Fahrenheit (10° centigrade), in stainless steel tanks. Fermentation proceeded with continually rising temperatures which peaked at 77° Fahrenheit (25° centigrade). Maceration continued after the end of fermentation, with a total period of skin contact of 23 days. The wine then went into new 60 gallon barrels of different of various kinds of oak and, before the end of the year, it had completed its malolactic fermentation. 18m in barrel. 14.5° alcohol.

Matarocchio, Bolgheri Superiore | 2007 100%

Il Bruciato, Bolgheri Rosso | A blend from the estate. Syrah gives spice, liquorice. Il Bruciato was a woodland. It caught fire in 1885. The then owner did not like people coming to hunt there, so locals set it on fire. 150ha then (now half that size). |  2002-2006 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 10% Syrah and other black grape varieties. | 2007-2011 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 20% Syrah and other black varieties. Each variety vinified apart. Blended. Oak aged (older barrels) for 12 months. ‘Quality of the tannins important. Easy in Bolgheri to make a full-bodied wine in Bolgheri, harder to make a wine with elegance. Gentle skin maceration. Short pumpovers, not necessarily every day. 10 days on skins. | 2019 800,000 bottles.

Conte Ugo, Bolgheri Rosso DOC | 70,000 bottles. Start at 20ºC, then let it rise. Look for ‘red part of the fruit, not just the black part. Want freshness. Staggered picking from different estate sites (different soils, ripeness levels at picking). The pH lower in Merlot than CS here. | 2011 Debut vintage. 100% Merlot.

Guado al Tasso Rosso, Bolgheri Superiore DOC | 100,000 bottles. Guado al Tasso is the flagship wine of the estate, and was first produced in 1990. Guado al Tasso was a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot (looking for more ripeness compared to Conte Ugo), and Syrah for its first 17 years, it changed course with the 2007 vintage, when Cabernet Franc and a lower portion of Petit Verdot replaced the Syrah…which has made for better wine (Schoenfeld, B: 31/2011). “Syrah sometimes can be a bit vulgar,” [Renzo] Cotarella explains. “A little bit aggressive, a little bit simple. Cabernet Franc is more refined, and that’s the kind of wine we want to make.” (Schoenfeld, B: 31/2011). | 1990 Debut. | 1995 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot and other red grape varieties. | 1996 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 10% Syrah and other red grape varieties. The spring which was quite cool at the beginning caused a slight delay in budding, but afterwards temperatures increased enabling perfect flowering and setting of the berry. Around the second half of August, a ‘green harvest’ was carried out, leaving only the best clusters on the vines to ripen. | 1997 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 10% Syrah and other red grapes. | 1998 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 10% Syrah and other red grape varieties. In all the estates a careful thinning of the red variety grapes was carried out during the month of August, in order to ensure that the remaining grapes would ripen in the best conditions. | 1999 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 10% Syrah and other red grape varieties. | 2000 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 10% Syrah and other red grape varieties. | 2001 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 10% Syrah. 114,000 bottles. | 2002 Not made. | 2003 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 10% Syrah and other red grape varieties. | 2004 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 10% Syrah. | 2005 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot, 5% Syrah. | 2006 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 5% Syrah. | 2007 A stylistic watershed, with Cabernet Franc (10%) and Petit Verdot (3%) replacing Syrah (see above for more detail) (Schoenfeld, B: 31/2011). | 2008 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot. | 2009 Guado al Tasso, Bolgheri DOC Superiore 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot say Antinori. | 2016 Elegant year. Very high quality. 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% each CF and Merlot. 18m in oak. MLF in barrel. Each variety in separate barrels. Barrels separate until bottling. Aim was to see how each vineyard performed in oak.

Other crops

Although wine is the main crop, wheat, oats, corn (maize), and sunflowers are also grown, as well as olive groves for oil. There are also Cinta Senese pigs.

Contact

Guado al Tasso (Antinori)

Località Scalabrone

I-57022 Bolgheri (LI = Livorno), Italy

Tel+39 0565.749735 | www.antinori.it

GPS Coordinates: 43.204362, 10.612674