Super Tuscans Wines (The Best Of 2016)

Super Tuscan Wines

 

What Is a Super Tuscan Wine? 

Super Tuscan Wines: 2016 Antinori Gualdo Al Tasso

Suggested Retail Price $130.00

A blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Cabernet Franc and 20% Merlot. 

98 Points James Suckling

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.

98 Points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

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.

96 Points Decanter

From alluvial soil of mostly clay and sand, Guado al Tasso is Antinori’s top Bolgheri wine. It’s a classic Bordeaux blend this year without any Petit Verdot – less bold and rich in style than the 2015 but otherwise extremely elegant and drinkable. It’s dark and concentrated, opening to aromas of restrained cassis, clean leather and a hint of earthy minerality. The firm yet ripe palate develops flavours of dense, supple brambly fruit and chocolate. It’s a bit warming on the finish but is otherwise extremely well balanced.

94 Points Wine Spectator

An exuberant style, boasting ripe black cherry and plum notes, with hints of coffee, chocolate and toasty oak. Lush and powerful, with a backbone of muscular tannins for support. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. Best from 2021 through 2033.

93 Points Wine & Spirits

The 2016 Guado al Tasso is ripe and rich, its flavors of dark plum and dried cherries laced with notes of exotic black spices and dark chocolate. With its rich texture and layered complexity, it will be even better after the oak flavors have time to integrate.

Super Tuscan Wines: 2016 Antinori Tignanello

Suggested Retail Price $135.00

A blend of 80% Sangiovese, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc.

98 Points Vinous

The 2016 Tignanello is flat out stunning. Dark, dense and resonant, the 2016 is a wonderfully complete wine that will provide readers with decades of pure drinking pleasure. The 2016 is especially dark and brooding, and yet the tannins are incredibly polished to the point of being perceptible. In the glass, the 2016 is complete and regal, perhaps because of the super-classic blend of 80% Sangiovese, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc. The pedigree of the vintage comes through in the wine’s extraordinary balance and total sense of finesse. I don’t think there is another wine anywhere in the world made entirely from estate fruit that can match Tignanello for quality, consistency and value within its peer group of top-flight reds.

97 Points James Suckling

Wonderful aromas of pine needles, rosemary, fresh mushrooms, bark and dark fruit. Full body. Very tight and tannic backbone. Racy and driven. Undertones of orange peel and wet earth. Even licorice and mint. Great finish. Better after 2021, but exciting to taste now.

97 Points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

To hit the market in June, the 2016 Tignanello is a rock-solid wine and a stunning beauty. The wine offers an impeccable level of precision and laser-focus delivery of fruits, spices, tilled earth, espresso beans and Mediterranean herbs. This vintage follows the classic blending formula of 80% Sangiovese with about 13% Cabernet Sauvignon and 7% Cabernet Franc. The vines are now 15 to 20 years old. Compared to the 2015 vintage that ultimately appeared more chewy and succulent, this expression from the iconic 2016 vintage is more vibrant, nervous and jazzed. It shows more savory spice, saltiness and minerality, with a beautifully integrated quality of tannins. Some 320,000 bottles were produced. This wine is at the top of the list of some of the best Tignanello ever made, including the vintages 2007, 2009, 2010, 2013 and 2015.

97 Points Wine Spectator

A big, lush style, this red delivers pure aromas and flavors of black currant, cherry, violet, flint, tobacco and baking spices. This is supple, yet backed by a firm, dense matrix of tannins, so all the components are there, but this needs time to integrate. Lovely sweet, ripe finish. Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2022 through 2040.

96 Points Wine & Spirits

The 2016 growing season saw warm temperatures without any big heat spikes, allowing even ripening and yielding a vibrant, harmonious Tignanello with plenty of aging potential. Brisk acidity draws out the wine’s deeply concentrated flavors of blackberry, cherry and plum into an energetic evolution across the palate. Notes of tobacco, subtle spices and dark chocolate emerge to add dimension to the fruit tones, the flavors woven together in a seamless, silky texture.

Super Tuscan Wines:2016 Tenuta Ornellaia

Suggested Retail Price $260.00

A blend of 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Franc, and 4% Petit Verdot. 

98 Points Decanter

2016 is one of the best vintages ever in Bolgheri, classic in style and balanced. It has a ‘great sense of the classics without denying the past, a fully-fledged, more modern wine,’ according to Axel Heinz. Crimson and dense in colour, it’s full of restrained, brambly fresh fruit, clove, nutmeg and a salty butteriness, combined with velvety, masked tannins on the palate. It is at perfect phenolic ripeness, supported by refreshing natural acidity balancing the 14.5% alcohol. This will last for decades.

98 Points James Suckling

An astoundingly vibrant, powerful and concentrated Ornellaia that has a wealth of intense dark cherries, mulberries and plums with hints of espresso, dark cocoa powder and cedar. The concentrated palate is framed in long, regal tannins that bring focus to the plush, ripe and fresh black cherries and dark plums. Extremely balanced. Best from 2025.

98 Points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

The 2016 Bolgheri Superiore Ornellaia is a wine of extreme complexity and precision. It offers monumental depth with profound layers of black fruit, coffee, licorice and baking chocolate. I tasted this 2016 vintage beside the less-impactful 2015 vintage (which was reviewed last year). These two editions are very different when compared side to side, and this 2016 release is clearly superior in terms of the quality, clarity and intensity of its offerings. This Ornellaia delivers glossy shine and a polished texture that segues to important richness, concentration and textural fiber. It wraps thickly over the palate, imparting waves of sweet dark fruit and dark spice that linger for many long minutes. This beautiful wine is hitting the market now, but collectors will want to put it straight into their cellars for safekeeping.

96 Points Vinous

Just bottled, the 2016 Ornellaia is a dense, powerful wine. Naturally, the 2016 is just at the beginning of its life, but I am struck by how polished the tannins are for such a young wine. Ornellaia is at its best starting around age ten, but there is little doubt the 2016 is a hugely promising wine. Black cherry, chocolate, plum, new leather and a range of spice notes all build into a veritable crescendo of aromas, flavors and textures.

96 Points Wine Spectator

Black currant, plum, cedar, lead pencil and toasty, spicy elements highlight this intense red. Muscular tannins line the extended finish, leaving a peppery impression. The parts are all there but need time to integrate. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Best from 2023 through 2043.

Super Tuscan Wines: 2016 Tenuta San Guido Sassicaia

Suggested Retail Price $270.00

A blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Cabernet Franc.

100 Points Decanter

One of the secret of Bolgheri’s mediterranean and windy climate is to turn pyrazines from the Cabernets into extra-dimensional scents of citron and leafy aromas. Sassicaia has been producing Cabernet-based wines here since 1968, which are typically marked by this fresh character on the nose. There’s a note of kiwi peel that’s particularly intense in this 2016, along with some cedar. In this vintage, its character is – if possible – more restrained than usual and definitely more so than the exceptional 2015. Small dark fruits lurk in the depth of the super-youthful nose, while on the palate the wine is not completely ready to drink – despite the good integration of oak, the tannins are still crunchy, perfectly ripe yet chewy, pushed by a lively acidity. An extremely elegant Sassicaia with a refined finish, this is built for the long haul and is possibly the best of this decade.

100 Points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

The 2016 Sassicaia is a wine of soaring achievement. I tasted this wine several times during the course of its creation in both barrel and bottle, and the highly deserved 100-point score you see here was enthusiastically assigned at the conclusion of a mini vertical in which I tasted and compared the 2016 vintage against 2015 (which I scored 97 points). It makes perfect sense to present these two excellent vintages in back-to-back comparison fashion because they are two of the best to emerge from Bolgheri, and indeed Tenuta San Guido, in recent memory. These are very similar vintages with long, hot summer months that fueled a long growing season.

There was a bit more rain in 2016, and in analytical terms this vintage has a tad more acidity. However, the results in the glass are extraordinarily different. The 2015 vintage is exuberant, round, succulent and immediate, whereas the 2016 vintage shows pinpoint sharpness and precision (with similar grit and texture at the back). That acidity will carry it long into the future as the wine completes its slow evolutionary course. This wine is chiseled and sharp with blackberry, ripe cherry, grilled herb and barbecue spice. The aromas flow from the glass in a continuous stream and are all marked by radiant intensity. The mouthfeel is long and powerful. The crisp linearity of the wine’s tannic backbone is perfectly measured to the volume and depth of the fruit flavors. To my mind, the 2016 Sassicaia stands tall next to the epic 1985 vintage that set the ultimate benchmark for vino italiano.

98 Points Wine Enthusiast

Aromas of cedar, tobacco, blue flower and spiced plum fuse together in this elegantly structured, stunning red. One of Italy’s most iconic wines, the smooth, compelling palate delivers flavors of black cherry, cassis, licorice and a hint of wild herb. Taut, polished tannins provide seamless support while fresh acidity lends impeccable balance. A savory saline note lingers on the finish. 

97 Points James Suckling

Subtle and complex aromas of blackcurrants, fresh herbs, lavender, rosemary and oyster shell. Some moss, too. Very perfumed. Full-bodied yet integrated with refined tannins that melt into the palate. Extremely classy and polished. Hard not to drink now. Try after 2021, when the tannins will have integrated even better in the wine.

97 Points Wine Spectator

A rich, black cherry– and black currant–flavored red, accented by cedar, wild herb and spice notes, this is supple and vibrant, with a lingering aftertaste of fruit and an emerging mineral element. Firms up nicely on the finish. Hard to keep from enjoying this now, but it will develop nicely with age. Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2021 through 2043.

Super Tuscan Wines: 2016 Antinori Solaia 

Suggested Retail Price $400.00 (Sold Out) 

A blend of  73% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Sangiovese and 7% Cabernet Franc.

100 Points James Suckling

Speechless here. I thought the 2015 was already perfect but this is perfect, too. But in a different way. It is so structured and multidimensional. Full-bodied, powerful and intense with incredible tannin backbone and depth. The dark-berry, wet-earth, oyster-shell and mushroom flavors are phenomenal. 20% less production than 2015. Give it four or five years to come together. Try after 2025.

100 Points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

I fussed over scoring this wine more than I’d like to admit—tasting through three samples under different conditions at various intervals and testing my impressions blind against wines in its peer group. Most importantly, I tasted this 2016 vintage against the 2015 vintage over and over again. I confess to a few nights of restless sleep as a result. Ultimately, my decision to award 100 points to the 2016 Solaia came on impulse and with the most natural sense of purpose. I had also given the 2015 vintage a perfect score, and intellectually, it seemed impossible not to pick a favorite among these two stunning expressions.

I will also state, outright, that the wines are very different, principally because the 2015 vintage shows more overall opulence and sweetness that extends to the pronounced textural richness of the mouthfeel. The 2016 vintage, on the other hand, is more chiseled and sharp with mineral shadings of campfire ash and graphite at the rim of its dark fruit. The mouthfeel is more streamlined and tight at its core, suggesting that the wine will unfold and soften beautifully with time. I feel like 2015 is the Dolce & Gabbana of the situation and the 2016 is the Armani Privé. The personalities of the two wines are distinct, yet my admiration for each is identical.

98 Points Wine Spectator

This red leads off with a slight oaky edge, featuring vanilla and resin accents that meld with the black cherry and blackberry fruit flavors on the palate. This is all about purity and finesse, featuring a vibrant structure that fits harmoniously with the flavors. Cedar, iron, tobacco and fruit elements converge on the finish, which is very long, fresh and satisfying. Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2023 through 2040.