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The fruit of an especially late harvest, Masseto displays great aromatic maturity, with fruit and spice joining the usual balsamic and mentholated accents. Ample, rich, and full on the palate, the first impact reveals a tremendous tannic structure, which is so atypical for Merlot, but makes it easy to recognize this wine as the product of a unique terroir: Vigna Masseto. The complexity and length apparent upon sipping allow us to appreciate every characteristic of the wine, which will age long and well.
"Smells like chocolate mousse, with crushed raspberry and hints of flowers. Full-bodied, with chewy tannins and a rich, fruity finish. This is powerful and structured Merlot, with layers and layers of everything. Needs time to come around. Best after 2014."
"The 2005 Masseto (Merlot) is simply gorgeous. A wine of extraordinary class and personality, it remains very primary in its dark fruit, licorice, cassis and toasted oak. It offers notable concentration and well-integrated tannins, all of which convey an impression of awesome harmony, finesse and balance. The tricky growing season seems to have been less of an issue for the Merlot, particularly in the old-vine Masseto Centrale vineyard. The 2005 Masseto has been superb every time I have tasted it thus far. As is often the case, the wine requires at least a few years of bottle age before it becomes approachable. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2025.
It is impossible not to be impressed by the consistent results Ornellaia achieves year after year. This is a gorgeous set of wines from oenologist Axel Heinz and agronomist/General Manager Leonardo Raspini. In general, the estate’s 2005s are smaller-scaled wines than is often the case, but they offer remarkable balance and plenty of style. As outstanding as the 2005s are, the 2006s are simply off the charts. They are thrilling wines that have tons of everything; fruit, acidity and structure to burn. Even though 2005 was a fresher vintage than 2006, Heinz reported that the 2006s have higher acidities that developed as a result of the unique qualities of the growing season.
The Wine Advocate
In 1981, Marchese Lodovico Antinori breathed new life into Tenuta dell' Ornellaia, an estate whose potential had been ignored for decades. With the help of Andre Tchelistcheff, the famous agronomist, Antinori planted the first French vines in Bolgheri, which lies in the heart of Tuscany's coastal region, Maremma. The estate yields some of the finest Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc in Tuscany. In 2002, Marchesi de' Frescobaldi and Robert Mondavi became owners of Tenuta dell'Ornellaia, which is now owned exclusively by Marchesi de' Frescobaldi.
One of the most important wine regions in Italy, Tuscany is home to the cities of Florence and Siena, the districts of Chianti and Brunello di Montalcino, and the wineries of Sassicaia, Tignanello and Ornellaia. Tuscany is also home to the indigenous Italian grape variety, Sangiovese. Most of the wine coming from Tuscany is made from some clone of this...Read More About Tuscany
No second fiddle
Merlot is coming back into its own. High popularity led to mass production, which then led to a backlash towards the variety (remember Miles in Sideways?). But passionate Merlot producers, and of course the right bank of Bordeaux, continued to produce quality versions of this grape. Merlot remains the principle grape of top chateaux in St...Read More About Merlot
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