The 2012 Masseto is an incredibly sexy wine. I can’t believe how expressive it is here. The year was mostly warm and dry but not excessively so. Raspberry jam, mint, spice, white chocolate and sweet floral notes all race out of the glass. Sumptuous in feel, with gorgeous, open-knit fruit and soaring aromatic intensity, the 2012 dazzles from start to finish. What a wine!
Drink 2020 - 2032
Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com (January 2020)
The 2012 Masseto is seductive from the first sip. The 2011 edition of this wine was very successful and similar in character to this wine. What the 2012 vintage offers instead is a level of textural richness and creaminess that is absolutely outstanding. The very nature of the fruit feels velvety and silky smooth, without a single ripple.
The bouquet reveals upfront aromas of dark cherry and spice that are contrasted perfectly against one another. Classic vintages of Masseto include 2001 and 2006. The 2012 vintage doesn't offer the same backbone firmness as those years, but it offers much more exuberant richness.
Some 32,000 bottles were produced. The wine should hold forward for many, many years.
Drink 2017 - 2037
Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (October 2015)
Fantastic aromas of lavender, rosemary, violets and currants. Full body, a wonderful fruit concentration, 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 from 2019 onward
James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com (August 2015)
About this WINE
Masseto is an Italian wine produced in the Bolgheri of Tuscany, specifically within the coastal area known as the Maremma. It is renowned as one of Italy’s most prestigious and sought-after wines, particularly for its exceptional quality and limited production.
Masseto is made exclusively from Merlot grapes, which is somewhat unusual for Tuscany, as many other regional top wines are predominantly composed of Sangiovese. The choice of Merlot is significant because it thrives in the clay-rich soil of the Masseto vineyard, producing grapes of exceptional quality.
The vineyard is located in the Bolgheri region, specifically in the Tenuta dell’Ornellaia estate. Its unique terroir, characterized by clay soil mixed with gravel and excellent drainage, contributes to the wine’s distinct character and complexity. The winemaking process involves hand-harvesting the Merlot grapes, careful sorting, and fermentation in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks. The wine is then aged in French oak barrels, with a portion of new barrels each vintage to provide structure and complexity.
Masseto is produced in minimal quantities, making it a rare and highly sought-after wine. The annual production is small, with variations depending on vintage conditions.
IGT (Indicazione Geografica Tipica) Tuscany is a wine classification from Italy's Tuscany region. It is one of the official wine classifications recognized by the Italian government. IGT is a step below the highest classification, DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita), and above the DOC (Denominazione di Origine Controllata) level.
The IGT classification was introduced in 1992 to allow winemakers more flexibility in grape varieties and employ winemaking techniques while still ensuring a certain level of quality and geographical indication. This classification gives winemakers more freedom to experiment and innovate, deviating from the strict regulations of the DOC and DOCG classifications.
IGT Tuscany wines can be produced throughout the entire region of Tuscany, encompassing various sub-regions and terroirs within the area. This classification allows winemakers to use traditional Tuscan grape varieties, such as Sangiovese, and non-traditional grape varieties, including international ones like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, and others.
The IGT Tuscany classification gives winemakers the flexibility to create wines that showcase the unique characteristics of their specific vineyards and winemaking styles. It allows for experimentation with blending different grape varieties, using innovative winemaking techniques, and exploring new regional vineyard sites.
IGT Tuscany wines can vary greatly, from traditional and terroir-driven expressions to more modern and international styles. This classification has played a significant role in developing Super Tuscan wines, often IGT designated and known for their high quality and international recognition.
Overall, IGT Tuscany provides a platform for winemakers in the region to express their creativity and produce wines that reflect their unique vision while maintaining a connection to the rich heritage and traditions of winemaking in Tuscany.
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.