2015 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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The release of this wine comes at a very happy time for the Masseto brand. The stunning 2015 Masseto is hitting the market just as the final touches are being made to the new Masseto winery. I'm told that Masseto might one day see other wines made under that same roof, so we can't exclude a future enlargement of the Masseto portfolio. The Masseto vineyard now covers seven hectares (divided into three plots), and the vines range from 30 to 40 years old. The wine is absolutely teeming with sensorial spirit that is transmitted through the bounty of the bouquet and the solid tannins of the mouthfeel. Nothing about the wine goes unnoticed or unchecked. Its many working pieces fit together with precision like a well-oiled machine. The 2015 vintage is characterized by a level of sheer exuberance that also defined the 2004 and 2007 vintages. Yet, it also reveals similar power, directness and linearity that we saw in the 2010 vintage. The 2015 Masseto takes the best of all those past vintages and confines those qualities to this single, spectacular bottle.
Monica Larner - The Wine Advocate 06/19/18
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