2018 Tuscany Preview


The 2018 Tuscany Preview revives a tradition from years back, when I published an early look at new releases from Tuscany each spring. Well, the Tuscany Preview is back and features some of the year’s most exciting upcoming releases, many of them reference-point wines of historical significance. 

Two thousand-eighteen is a highly intriguing vintage in Tuscany. The wines are gorgeous for their mid-weight purity and nuance. Stylistically, the 2018s remind me of the 2004s, but with a bit less richness, likely a combination of the weather and the gentler style of vinification that is so common these days. For readers who buy Bordeaux, the 2018s from Tuscany share many similarities with the 2014 Left and Right Bank reds. Readers will find wines built on linear precision and persistence more than size or opulence.

Weather was mostly moderate throughout the main appellations in Tuscany. Of course, Tuscany is a large region and conditions can vary widely from place to place. In 2018, the largest variable was rain, which shaped all of the wines in this article to varying degrees, as explained in the tasting notes. The late-ripening season produced wines with striking aromatics, medium-bodied structures and super-refined, silky tannins that make them a pure joy to taste even in the early going. A perfect example of that is Masseto, which is usually a much more potent, tannic wine at this stage, just after bottling. Solaia and Sassicaia are both deeply expressive aromatically.

Initially the 2018s I tasted for this article were all pretty tight, and only blossomed after having been opened for a day or two. In other words, 2018 is not an immediately flattering vintage. These are wines that are likely to require several years in bottle to show at their best.

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