x
  • Country ranking ?

    84
  • Producer ranking ?

    14
  • Decanting time

    3h
  • When to drink

    now to 2040

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 2001

Winter was milder than the norm and rain above average: this brought about an early budbreak, between the end of March and the beginning of April. A spring characterized by abundant rainfall and average temperature favoured the Merlot, which flowered around the middle of May. Fruit set was good, with grape size above the norm. Summer temperatures were within average with very little rain. At the beginning of July, the Merlot grapes were thinned by about 20%.
During September, temperatures were slightly below average, and this allowed for the berries to achieve a slow and complete ripening of polyphenols.
The harvest in Masseto started at the beginning of September and was completed about four weeks later. Grape conditions were very good and ripening very uniform.


The first wine produced and released from the Masseto vineyard was the 1986 vintage. It was simply called “Merlot“. The name of Masseto then appeared on the label with the 1987 vintage.
Masseto is a wine of great and complex personality where its remarkable structure always combine with beautiful elegance. Naturally each vintage has its own identity and exemplifies, for the enjoyment of its aficionados, the stunning possibilities of interpretations which climate variations offer: noble opulence for the 2001, dense tannic structure for the 1988, or great elegance for the 2007…
So each vintage of Masseto is one and yet, at the same time, a piece of a whole . A single testimonial of the unique alliance of terroir, climate, and human talent which defines Masseto, as well as an inspiring evidence of Masseto’s timeless value.


Winemaker’s Notes

2001 is a very “classic” vintage and shows the peculiar characteristics of the Bolgheri terroir. Masseto 2001 has a great structure while showing balance and harmony, due primarily to the perfect ripening of the Merlot grapes.
Tasted September 2011



 

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Tasting note

color

Full and Ruby red

ending

Long and Spicy

flavors

Coffee, Nutty, Honey, New-oak and Spice

nose

Refined and Charming

recommend

Yes

taste

High in Acidity, High alcohol content, Well-Integrated, Well-structured, Full-bodied, Elegant, Rich, Full and Sweet

Verdict

Good everyday wine

Written Notes

A very rich, dense colour. On the nose sound aromas of espresso roast, honeyed wine with nutty aromas and loads of spicy oak. Lusciously sweet, moderately high acidity and intense fruit with good structure make this elegant, full-bodied wine very appealing already. The immense length is utterly charming. The relatively high alcohol level is well integrated and the dense voluptuous texture is so thick. One of the best Massetos ever made!
  • 96p
There was a James Suckling sighting, and along with him came a 2001 Massetto. Talk about a great package deal. James is always great company at a tasting and an encyclopedia of wine knowledge, and he was really the first major Western wine critic to experience the Hong Kong market. No one from the West knows Hong Kong and its major collectors more than James. The Massetto was super-concentrated and deep purple personified. The words ‘rich’ and ‘thick’ kept appearing over and over again in my notes, along with ‘super.’ James added, ‘layered and powerful…black olives and mint.’ This was an awesomely endowed wine, full of decadent flavors of coffee and blueberry. It was still very young but incredibly sexxxy juice (97).
  • 97p

Ruby, ripe blueberries, leather, anise, touch of cherries and plums. Fresh acidity, ripe tannins, very elegant, beautiful balance, gorgeous length.

  • 95p

The 2001 Masseto is one of the all-time great wines here. Vertical and soaring in its intensity, the 2001 occupies all dimensions, especially texturally, where it is so rich, so heady and so compelling. Next to other wines, or other vintages, the 2001 just has more of everything. I imagine well-stored bottles will drink well for another 15-20 years. The 2001’s reputation as an iconic wine is clearly justified. This magical vintage was marked by cooling temperatures in September that resulted in a drawn out harvest that took four weeks to complete. Note: The bottle in the Nashville tasting was not perfect, so this note corresponds to a more recent and more representative example. I have seen more bottle variation with the 2001 than other vintages.

  • 98p

2001 is a worthy successor to the great vintages from the end of the 90’s. A flam- boyant, rich and powerful Masseto. A monumental wine that combines extravagant levels of ripeness, opulent fruit with a perfectly balanced tannic structure. It is starting to drink well but given its power and richness it will certainly benefit from a few more years.

This is a truly great wine and a great vintage. The colour is garnet red and presenting itself still in a lively way. The nose is complex and rich in a mature style which maintained freshness, displaying aroma reminiscent of graphite, ripe blackcurrants, hints of smoke and fine leather, Cuban cigars and hints of bacon in the background. A rich yet elegant wine with excellent aromatic depth and great length, an opulent pleasure with again flavours of bacon, graphite and blackcurrants. Amazing! 

  • 99p
Extremely concentrated and beautiful ruby red colour. The nose is very intense and multilayered, but also very elegant. Roasted oak notes provide an excellent foundation for plum, flower and spice aromas. The full mouthfeel is positively delicious. A large, effervescent acid structure is complemented by an intense ripe fruitiness. Mature, extremely fine and ample tannins are sophisticatedly distributed throughout the mouth. The oakiness fills out the wine with a nuanced seasoning. Ample alcohol is nicely integrated in the wine, thus giving it a long finish, with sweet undertones. The wine's presentation is very concentrated, velvety and elegant - it will need another ten years of bottle maturation to reach its prime.
  • 95p
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Information

Origin

Bolgheri, Tuscany

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

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