Guado al Tasso is the prestigious flagship Bordeaux blend wine from Piero Antinori. It forms one third of his trinity of great wines Tignanello, Solaia and Guado al Tasso, which have cemented Piero as the best-known names in Italian winemaking. James Suckling has just awarded Guado al Tasso 2013 97 points, equal to the 97 point scoring Tiganello, remarking that these are the best he has ever tasted. This comes as no surprise, the vintage is receiving wonderful acclaim, as Monica Larner states ‘the 2013 vintage promises greatness’. The 97 points score makes Guado Al Tasso and Tignanello highly collectible.

Guado al Tasso unlike Tignanello and Solaia – which are located in Chianti Classico – is the family’s sprawling property located in the heartland of the Super Tuscan coastal region of Bolgheri, a few minutes south of Sassicaia and Ornellaia. As such it has a wonderful climatic combination, benefiting from the coastal breeze of the Tyrrhenian Sea, vineyard elevation and the interior hills. Interestingly, Guado al Tasso takes its name from the badgers (tassi) that regularly cross the streams on the property.

Initially the blend included a little Syrah; however nowadays it has morphed into a true Bordeaux blend, in 2013 its blend is 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. Stylistically, Guado al Tasso straddles Solaia and Tignanello and the properties founded by the other side of the Antinori family, Ornellaia and Masseto: a master class in winemaking. Like its siblings all variatels are vinified separately and macerated in stainless steel tanks for 12-14 days then aged for 14 months in new French oak barriques. Guado al Tasso fully expresses the Bolgheri terrior, fashioned with a defined structure, sublime complexity and elegance, yet rich and spicy.

James suckling has also released his score for Antinori’s famed white wine Cervaro della Sala 2014, awarding it a remarkable 96 points. According to Parker “The amazingly successful Cervaro della Sala has arguably done more to raise the image of Italian white wine than any other single bottle”. Once again this is the highest score for this wine, heralding from the much cooler 2014 vintage, which suits the balanced and elegant style. At £33 a bottle duty and VAT paid this represents a chance to own one of Italy’s truly great white wines.

Cervaro della Sala is the “flagship” wine of the Cervaro della Sala Estate. The name of this wine comes from the Conti of Cervara, who were the owners of Castello della Sala. The Estate is located on the headland of Umbria not far from Orvieto. In 1940 the Antinori family purchased the castle and the surrounding land and produced the first vintage of Cervaro della Sala in 1985, which was later released in 1987. Since this release the wine has won numerous international awards for the consistent excellence of its quality and is now considered one of the top Italian white wines.

The wine is a blend of 90% Chardonnay and 10% Grechetto grapes, fermented and aged for five months in barriques. It then matures in bottle for about 10 months in the medieval cellars of the castle. The grapes originate from 15 to 20 year-old vineyards located on the lands surrounding Castello della Sala, growing at altitudes between 200 and 400 meters above sea level. Cervaro della Sala is seductive and elegant wine that evolves and ages very well.

Guado al Tasso 2013 – James Suckling 97 Pts
This is a very sleek and racy wine with lots of stone, white pepper and fresh rosemary character. Then takes off with dried ripe fruits such as currants and blueberries. Dark chocolate too. This a real mouthful yet remains agile and powerful. Linear and long finish. Great precision. Best ever from Guado al Tasso?

Antinori Umbria Cervaro Della Sala 2014 – James Suckling, 96 Pts
This is the full treatment white from Italy and it always delivers. Aromas of cooked apple, cream, hints of toasted oak and peach. Full body, bright acidity, with tangy fresh fruit. Hints of yogurt and wood. Complex and truly great. Love the backbone of acidity that gives lovely form.

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