2012 Masseto, Tuscany, Italy
About this WINE
The most widely planted grape in Bordeaux and a grape that has been on a relentless expansion drive throughout the world in the last decade. Merlot is adaptable to most soils and is relatively simple to cultivate. It is a vigorous naturally high yielding grape that requires savage pruning - over-cropped Merlot-based wines are dilute and bland. It is also vital to pick at optimum ripeness as Merlot can quickly lose its varietal characteristics if harvested overripe.
In St.Emilion and Pomerol it withstands the moist clay rich soils far better than Cabernet grapes, and at it best produces opulently rich, plummy clarets with succulent fruitcake-like nuances. Le Pin, Pétrus and Clinet are examples of hedonistically rich Merlot wines at their very best. It also plays a key supporting role in filling out the middle palate of the Cabernet-dominated wines of the Médoc and Graves.
Merlot is now grown in virtually all wine growing countries and is particularly successful in California, Chile and Northern Italy.
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Fantastic aromas of lavender, rosemary, violets and currants. Full body, a wonderful concentration of fruit yet tense and taunt energy. The new wood is exposed now but will become integrated and polished. Give it three or four years together. The pure merlot magic is there. The 2011 was a perfect wine, and this is very close indeed. Drink in 2019.
99/100 James Suckling, Wine Advocate
Masseto, produced by Tenuta dell’Ornellaia, is among the world’s most sought after Merlots. It comes from one of Italy’s most celebrated 7 hectare plots of Merlot in Bolgheri on the Tuscan coast where the vines grow on an outcrop of pliocene clay (ideal for Merlot and not found elsewhere in Bolgheri). Its first full release was 1987, although there was a partial release in 1986, and it quickly became a cult wine revered by collectors. The 2012 vintage is a year that has produced many outstanding wines in the Super Tuscan arena and Masseto looks sure to continue that trend
Made in tiny quantities. Despite having only debuted back in 1986, Masseto has almost taken on the mystique we see with the likes of Ch. Petrus – rare, expensive, ground breaking and much sought after. Total production is circa. 2500 cases
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