Il Bruciato was created in the year 2002 during one of the most difficult vintages at Guado al Tasso in order to present the unique terroir of Bolgheri and give it a greater visibility and recognition. The first blend to be used was that of Guado al Tasso only to see, in the years which followed, a modification of the varietal composition and the identification of a series of vineyard plots intended to be used exclusively for this wine.
Until the current DOC regulations were laid down in 1994, Sassicaia and the other top Super Tuscan wines produced were usually sold as Vino da Tavola or Toscana IGT. Today a Bolgheri Rosso like Il Bruciato from Tenuta Guado Al Tasso may be made entirely from Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, or a blend combining one or more of these, and / or up to 50 percent of Syrah or Sangiovese. Other red grapes such as Petit Verdot may account for up to 30 percent. Earlier DOC regulations prevented monovarietal wines from being produced as Bolgheri Rosso, and some examples such as Masseto (pure Merlot) are also still labelled as Toscana IGT.
The Tenuta Guado Al Tasso estate covers an area of 320 hectares and is planted with vines, set in a beautiful plain encircled by rolling hillsides known as the “Bolgheri Amphitheatre” due to its particular shape. The vineyards are planted to Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Vermentino. The nearby sea provides a mild climate with constant cooling breezes that mitigate the sometimes oppressive summer heat but also act to alleviate harsh winter weather, maintaining a clear sky and a high level of sunlight exposure to the vines.
The world’s weather has become increasingly wild in recent years and looks set to continue as climate change makes its influence felt more and more. Although much of the growing season for 2021 was distinctly odd the world over, much of the vintage was surprisingly good – in some places like Bolgheri, even excellent. Thanks to a winter period full of rains, it had a very regular pattern, with a well-ventilated dry summer with temperatures never above the seasonal average. The good temperature ranges that began in the second half of August favoured the aromatic finesse of the grapes. The wines of the 2021 vintage are certainly convincing with a marked acidity freshness, ripe sweet tannins and a good level of phenolic extraction. It promises to be one of the best vintages for aging potential and it is presumably for this reason that the 2021 vintage was awarded a 5-Star rating.
Bolgheri Vintage Ratings: 1983 to 2021
Tenuta Guado Al Tasso Il Bruciato Bolgheri Rosso 2021, 14% Abv.
The 2021 Il Bruciato is a highly anticipated wine release especially after the broader Bolgheri region’s 5-star vintage rating awarded recently. This new release shows an intense, vibrant ruby red colour with just the faintest hint of youthful purple on the rim. Over the years, while this wine has undoubtedly increased considerably in price, it has also moved up to an undeniably more premium nouveau of fine wine quality and collectability. Within this release, the intricate, expressive aromatics are displayed to full effect with a fabulously crisp, tart, bright crunchy red and black cherry fruited nose punctuated by supremely expensive French oak vanilla pod spices, hints of warm buttered brown toast, sweet cherry tobacco and subtle notes of red salty liquorice. On the palate there is a texture of silk, with each blended component bringing its A game: the Merlot offering up its unique Bolgheri pithy cherry intensity, the Cabernet Sauvignon providing backbone, liquorice, cassis, cedar and spice, and the Cabernet Franc filling in the cracks to form the most unified and elegant of red offerings. As with all 5-star vintages, the paramount differentiating quality factor is the unique combination of fruit intensity combined with weightless concentration, together with bright, seamless acids that create a truly breath-taking wine. For me, this release opens a new door of elevated precision and quality that Italian fine wine aficionados and collectors with an eye for value and age ability will surely find irresistible. Drink on release and comfortably over the next 10 to 12+ years.
(Wine Safari Score: 94/100 Greg Sherwood MW)
Wines available retail through Museum Wines.