x
  • Country ranking ?

    97
  • Producer ranking ?

    13
  • Decanting time

    1h30min
  • When to drink

    Now-2025
  • Food Pairing

    Slow-roast shoulder of lamb

The Tb points given to this wine are the world’s most valid and most up-to-date evaluation of the quality of the wine. Tastingbook points are formed by the Tastingbook algorithm which takes into account the wine ratings of the world's 50 best-known professional wine critics, wine ratings by thousands of tastingbook’s professionals and users, the generally recognised vintage quality and reputation of the vineyard and winery. Wine needs at least five professional ratings to get the Tb score. Tastingbook.com is the world's largest wine information service which is an unbiased, non-commercial and free for everyone.

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The Story

Masseto was born ‘almost by chance’ in 1986 when it was decided to vinify the Merlot from the Masseto vineyard alone as it ‘promised well’. This small, exceptional and legendary cru has soon become a collector’s item sold in auctions all over the world. The first vintage was called very simply ‘Merlot’ but, from 1987, it has taken on the name of its vineyard ‘Masseto’.

The Masseto vineyard is a unique place. Blessed with the generosity of a Mediterranean climate, this small vineyard enjoys breath-taking views, which stretch to the Tuscan coast, and a mosaic of different soils including an exceptional presence of grey clay. The gentle breezes coming off the sea during the war summer months, the intensity of the sunlight and the specificity of the unique soils, allow the vines to develop and ripen gradually and contribute to granting Masseto its enchanting combination of freshness and ripeness.

The wine is the synthesis of its singular 7 hectare vineyard formed of three types of soil. At the top of the hill, at around 120 metres above sea level, the loosest ground is made up of clay and sand with numerous pebbles and, this contributes to the elegant nature of the wine. In the sloping part of the vineyard (with about a 10% gradient), grey clay predominates and gives the wine its structural backbone. Lastly, the lower rows grow on less clayey soil which lends the wine its fullness, warmth and generosity.

The bunches, hand harvested in 15kg crates, were carefully sorted by hand on a double sorting table before and after destemming and then subjected to a gentle crushing. Six different lots were vinified separately. Fermentation took place in both steel and wood tanks, followed by 15-20 days maceration at a temperature between 25 and 30° C. Afterwards, malolactic fermentation took place in 100% new oak barrique, and the different lots were kept separate for the first 12 months of maturation. The wine was then blended and reintroduced into the barrels for another year, making a total of 24 months. After bottling, the wine was aged for an additional 12 months prior to release.

 

Tenuta dell'Ornellaia makes outstanding wines even in poor vintages - better than any other. In the capable hands of winemaker Thomas Duroux and consultant Michel Rolland, the estate continues its long-standing, stellar record of world-class wine production. Even the estate's "second" wines demonstrate high quality grape growing and flawless production methods. Located in Tuscany's tiny coastal DOC of Bolgheri, the estate was one of the first to plant vines in the area. With producers like Tenuta San Guido Sassicaia, Antinori, Grattamacco, and Le Macchiole among others, Bolgheri is the hotbed of winemaking momentum in Toscana.

With the same name as the winery, a reference to the grove of flowering ash trees surrounding it, Ornellaia is the estate's principal wine. The 63 acres of predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, with small plantings of Cabernet Franc vines, lie on elevated parcels composed of clay, gravel, and loam soils. The clones of diverse origins yield a rich palette of nuances. All grapes are destemmed, gently pressed, and introduced into either wooden or stainless steel fermentation vessels. Maceration takes place over a period of 25-32 days at a temperature not exceeding 30 degrees Celsius, during which time the wine completes its alcoholic fermentation. The juice remains unblended until the wines have spent approximately one year in small French barriques. The final cuvee is assembled to evoke the vinous finess of the Cabernet highlighted by ripe, aromatic notes of Merlot in an elegant yet firm style balancing fruit, acidity, oak, and tannic backbone.

The estate's Le Volte is a blend of Tuscan Sangiovese with Bordeaux's Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot that can be considered a "Young Ornellaia." They also produce Le Serre Nuove, the "second Ornellaia," and Masseto, one Bolgheri's greatest wines!

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Wine Information

Climate and Harvest 1991The primary growing phase of the vines was characterised by an average temperature with flowering and optimal setting of the berry around the 15th of June. The Summer months had lower than average temperatures and above average rainfall. For this reason, the maturation of the berry was slowed by about 3 weeks.
The harvest of the Merlot for this vintage was carried out on the 11th and 17th of September (somewhat later than for previous harvests). The grapes were all hand-picked and conveyed immediately to the cellars in baskets containing max 15 kg. The maturation of the berry occurred at 22.5-23.5 degrees Brix.

Vinification and Ageing Destemming was followed by a very stable fermentation lasting 9 days and a maceration of approximately 14 days at a controlled temperature.
Prior to the initial racking, the wine underwent a soft crushing. Malolactic fermentation took place as soon as the wine had completed its alcoholic fermentation.
The wine was transferred to new French oak barriques where it remained for a period of 24 months followed by a further 24 month period in the bottle before release.


 

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Latest Pro-tasting notes

<10 tasting notes

Tasting note

color

Full

ending

Long

flavors

Plum, Blackcurrant, Cherry, Cedar and Herbs

nose

Open, Complex and Fresh

recommend

Yes

taste

High in Acidity, Firm, Harmonious and Fresh

Written Notes

This vintage had a promising start with good conditions during the flowering and optimum berry set in mid June. Then the weather cooled down and the rains came. Merlot grapes matured three weeks later than usual reflecting the still coolness of the vintage.

Moderately intense tawny colour. Delicate nose with herbaceous nuances along with cedar, plum and cherry notes. Medium-bodied wine with moderately high acidity, restrained fruit with plums and blackcurrant notes. Firm tannins and herbacious spicy flavours dominate during the long aftertaste

  • 97p

The 1991 Masseto is delicate and also a touch frayed around the edges. It’s a nice wine for drinking now, but I wouldn’t push my luck, as slightly vegetal notes will only become more pronounced in time. This is not the best showing. Cool temperatures and a good bit of rain required delicate handling in the cellar. The 1991 saw a relatively short amount of time on the skins, while the malolactic fermentation was done in steel rather than oak.

  • 87p

The primary growing phase of the vines was characterised by an average temperature with flowering and optimal fruit set around the 15th of June. The summer months had lower than average temperatures and above average rainfall. For this reason, the maturation of the berry was about 3 weeks later than average.The harvest was carried out on the 11th and 17th of September (somewhat later than for previous harvests).TASTING NOTES: A wine which has reached full maturity. To be enjoyed today.

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Information

Origin

Bolgheri, Tuscany

Vintage Quality

Excellent

Value For Money

Good

Investment potential

Below Average

Fake factory

None

Glass time

2h

Other wines from this producer

La Serre Nuove dell'Ornellaia

Le Serre Nuove dell'Ornellaia

Le Volte dell'Ornellaia

Le Volte dell’Ornellaia

Ornellaia

Ornellaia Bianco

Poggio alle Gazze dell'Ornellaia

Highlights

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