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.
With the 2011 vintage, Masseto returns to a typically Mediterranean expression of a warm year in the Bolgheri terroir. Yet the overall impression is one of superb balance and measure, notwithstanding the wine’s rich concentration and ripeness. A near-opaque colour greets the eye, followed by explosive aromas of gloriously-ripe wild red berryfruit cosseted by hints of toasty oak and dark chocolate, but easily avoiding any hint of jamminess. A full-volumed palate impresses with its deep concentration and opulence, displaying remarkably supple, glossy tannins. Masseto 2011 concludes with a cleanly-defined vein of crisp acidity, infused with the fruit and spice encountered on the nose.
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!
MASSETO 2011 one of Masseto’s most surperb expressions. Winemaker Axel Heinz: “A warm, dry growing year, a wine of great balance.”
Bolgheri, 9 October 2014 – Masseto, a cru Merlot grown in the vineyard on a hill that gives its name to the wine, debuts today on the domestic and international markets in its 2011 vintage. Its exceptional terroir, combined with painstaking attention at every step of its production, have made Masseto, right from the very beginning, one of the world’s greatest wines, one given the highest accolades and awards by the most authoritative wine-sector journals and guides, and the first Italian wine to win placement in Place de Bordeaux, En Livrable, in 2008 with the 2006 vintage.
Masseto increases in value up to 90% over its price after just 12 months following release to market (Source: Liv-Ex: the 2008 vintage rose to +48% after one year, the 2009 reached +71%, and the 2010 achieved +90%, while the 2011, just released, is already at +29% over its initial price.)
Further, if one looks at comprehensive growth in value, Masseto over 10 years has more than quintupled its value (Source: Liv-Ex, cf. graph below).
“After a very late-developing 2010 growing season, 2011 was characterised by warm, dry weather and a harvest much earlier than the average,” explained Leonardo Raspini, General Manager and Agronomist. “ A rainy winter was followed by a warmer-than average spring that brought forward the start of vine growth by a full 10 days. Budbreak was particularly rapid and uniform, always a good indicator of a fine growing year. Then cooler weather in June and July slowed vine development. The expected rains arrived on schedule after flowering and during veraison, encouraging optimal cluster growth, aromatic intensification, and, even more important, exceptionally-generous accumulation of polyphenols. A heat spell at the end of August further quickened ripening, bringing us the earliest harvest ever in the history of Masseto. The grapes arriving in the cellar were perfectly sound and healthy, well balanced, and with no sign of over-ripeness.
“With the 2011 vintage, Masseto returns to a typically Mediterranean expression of a warm year in the Bolgheri terroir,” commented Axel Heinz, Winemaker and Director of Production. “Yet the overall impression is one of superb balance and measure, notwithstanding the wine’s rich concentration and ripeness. A near-opaque colour greets the eye, followed by explosive aromas of gloriously-ripe wild red berryfruit cosseted by hints of toasty oak and dark chocolate, but easily avoiding any hint of jamminess. A full-volumed palate impresses with its deep concentration and opulence, displaying remarkably supple, glossy tannins. Masseto 2011 concludes with a cleanly-defined vein of crisp acidity, infused with the fruit and spice encountered on the nose.”
In the cellar, each individual vineyard lot was vinified separately, then the lots were matured separately for the first 12 month, in French oak. The definitive assemblage was then made, and the final wine returned t the same barrels for an additional year, for an overall total of 24 months. Masseto 2011 was given a further 12 months in the bottle before release.