x
  • Country ranking ?

    32
  • Producer ranking ?

    5
  • Decanting time

    4h
  • When to drink

    from 2020
  • Food Pairing

    Roasted 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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Masseto 2014 has been released at £4,200 per 12×75. At this price, it is currently available below all the other recent vintages available in the market.

The Wine Advocate’s Monica Larner commented that “the 2014 Masseto has developed beautifully over the past few years” and awarded the wine 94 points.

James Suckling scored the wine 97 points. In his tasting note he said that “the texture and intensity are exceptional. Fantastic for the vintage”.

Prices for Masseto are 79% correlated to Wine Advocate score. Based on today’s release of £4,200 per 12×75, Liv-ex’s ‘fair value’ methodology places the wine below the trend line. It may therefore represent an exciting opportunity for buyers.

The 2012 vintage also looks attractive.

 

 

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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

Due to a warm, rainy winter, dry spring, and damp August, 2014 was an unusual year in Masseto’s history. The weather conditions – particularly those experienced in August – made it difficult for the grapes to ripen and significantly increased the risk of fungal diseases. However, thanks to vineyard’s resilient blue clay soils, and the team’s meticulous work in the vineyard, including leaf-pulling and anti-fungal treatments, the grapes remained healthy up through harvest in September and October, when the weather was mostly sunny and dry. During harvest, the best clusters were hand selected, getting passed through multiple times before being re-examined on the sorting tables.

Following de-stemming and yet another sorting, the grapes were separated according to the eight vineyard blocks from which they were picked. Grapes from each vineyard block were gently pressed and vinified separately. Fermentation took place in a combination of steel and wood tanks, then malolactic fermentation started in 100% new oak barrels. The different lots were kept separate for 12 months before being combined and aged in barrels for another 12 months. The wine was then aged in the bottle for another 12 months before

release.

“Stylistically, the wine displays outstanding balance, with supple, velvety tannins and remarkably complex aromatics,” noted Alex Heinz, Winemaker and Estate Director. “This Masseto expresses a refined sensuality and silk-smooth seductiveness, all in its own distinctively classic, elegant fashion. The combination of terroir and style found in the 2014 vintage attests to the incredible ability of Masseto to cope with adverse weather conditions.”

“This year marks a very special year for Masseto,” explained Alex Belson, Director of Masseto. “We have started excavations, delving deep into the heart of the Masseto hill, in order to lay the foundations for a dedicated winery that will be completed for harvest 2018. It has been amazing to witness the uncovering of these clays... blue, impenetrable and exceptional.”

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Latest Pro-tasting notes

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Written Notes

The 2014 Masseto has developed beautifully over the past few years of its oak and bottle evolution. This is a very distinctive edition of the iconic Italian Merlot that delivers a silky and streamlined approach. As bold and opulent as Masseto is in the warm vintages, I personally find those wines difficult to finish because the extract, concentration and intensity are so over the top. The best vintages of Masseto usually overpower any food dish you put before them. This is a subdued and downplayed expression instead. The cool summer season has shaped fresh berry notes of wild blackberry and cassis with drying mineral, tobacco, licorice and tar. There is evident sweetness here in terms of the wine's fruit flavors and its tannins, but there also is a cooling vein of acidity that makes the difference. The alcohol feels integrated and light. If you are hankering for a less massive and less muscular Masseto, this vintage is for you.

This year represents the dawning of a new chapter in Masseto’s long history. As you can see in this report, Masseto is listed as its own winery outside the Tenuta dell’Ornellaia umbrella. I had also recorded the 2013 Masseto as its own brand. General Manager for both Masseto and Ornellaia, Alex Heinz explains that company insiders have long seen these as two distinct entities. In fact, Masseto is getting a dedicated winery to complete its independence. The 2,000-square meter space should be operative in time for the 2018 harvest. Today, you see a large yellow crane hovering over an unfinished concrete floor plan. When the Masseto winery is completed, it will house the entire production process from grape reception to bottling. Even the library of old vintages will be housed here. Masseto is moving out on its own.

  • 94p

The 2014 Masseto continues to develop into a very pretty wine. Silky, medium in body and gracious, the 2014 is all about understatement. Each time I taste it, I uncover a new layer of dimension and nuance I did not see before. I expect the 2014 will develop along the lines of the 2005 and 2002, both wines from very cool, late-ripening years. This is the best showing yet for the 2014. This very challenging cool, rainy growing season is also the longest harvest at Masseto. Picking started on September 5 and wrapped up more than a month later, on October 7.

  • 93p

The fleshy plum, blackberry and boysenberry fruit flavors sail along, gilded with a hint of anise and backed by velvety tannins. Shows serious length already and latent depth. A hedonistic wine in the making.

  • 96p

In a vintage where the quality of the terroir, the patience and rigor of the workers made it possible to achieve full ripening, Masseto 2014 represents a most elegant and refined expression. Intense in colour the nose immediately reveals complexity and freshness with hints of red berries, sweet spices, and a slight aroma of toasted wood. On the palate silky with a fine, smooth texture, supported by a vibrant fruitiness and a lively acidity, all perfectly integrated. A long, intense finish concludes the tasting.

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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

Inside Information

Masseto is a unique place producing a unique wine. The Masseto hill, which looks out towards the Mediterranean sea, can be divided into 3 main sections due to its different subsoils, which combined give the wine its unforgettable character . An intriguing combination of structure & opulence, matched with elegance & softness, Masseto owes its distinct personality to the blue clays of the Pliocene Era which dominate the soils of this small Estate. Masseto, controlled by the Frescobaldi family, has received international acclaim since its birth in 1986.

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BWW-The Best Wine of the World-competition is by far the toughest wine competition on this planet. Unlike any other industry competition, only 1% of the wines involved will be awarded. 

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BWW 2020 Competition

VOTE NOW FOR YOUR FAVOURITE WINES FOR THE BEST WINE OF THE WORLD -TITLE

 

BWW- The Best Wine of the World 2020 -competition

"We believed the opinion of 10,000 consumers or 1,000 professionals to be more correct and more significant than a small group of wine professionals.”

 

BWW-The Best Wine of the World-competition is by far the toughest wine competition on this planet. Unlike any other industry competition, only 1% of the wines involved will be awarded. 

BWW is also the largest wine competition: The BWW competition 2019 was held in the world's largest wine information service - tastingbook.com. 18,477 wines received in total 2,354,989 votes from 416,000 wine professionals and wine lovers from 116 countries during the three months voting period.