Ornellaia Masseto 2009
Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
Masseto 2009 is the expression of a particularly warm growing season that showcased all of the noble qualities of a great terroir. Working in harmony with the clay soil of the Masseto vineyard, we succeeded in achieving the balance, crispness, and aromatic complexity that are classic to all great wines. An impressively dark hue, Masseto 2009 mirrors its vintage, exhibiting intense impressions of ripe cherry, chocolate, spice, and coffee. Profound and full-volumed in the mouth, it boasts explosive fruit, and tannins which are glossy and firm. Its vein of crisp acidity fuels a long finish marked by a vivacious crispness.
International Wine Cellar - "Good full ruby. Superripe, pure aromas of blackberry, cassis, violet, minerals, milk chocolate and exotic spices. Superconcentrated, rich and seamless, offering explosive sweetness but also great verve, thanks to bright acidity that provides wonderful lift and clarity to the blackberry, blueberry and black cherry flavors. Finishes with ultra-suave tannins and a kaleidoscope of violet and Oriental spice flavors. A very great Masseto from a hot year, when I would have expected the merlot to suffer a bit. But unlike in 2003, when it wasn't just hot but dry as well, Masseto's unique microclimate allowed the merlot to avoid major stress in 2009. As good and refined as the Ornellaia is in 2009, I think the Masseto has an extra layer of complexity and depth."
James Suckling - "Sexy and muscular. Blackberries, licorice and tar on the nose. Bark, earth, and spice as well. Super subtle. Full-bodied, with super chewy tannins and a wonderful line. So beautiful. Creamy tannins. A baby 2001. Try in 2016. "
The Wine Advocate - "The 2009 Masseto bursts from the glass with dark red berries, blackberries, flowers, licorice and tar. It shows lovely up-front juiciness and expressive inner perfume in a surprisingly accessible style for this wine. Like the Ornellaia, the 2009 Masseto has quite a bit of freshness, although it, too, is medium-bodied in structure. In this vintage the Ornellaia team was especially selective and only used part of the three vineyards that typically go into Masseto. I have been fortunate to taste every vintage of Masseto, most more than once recently. Masseto has a great track record for aging, even in the smallest, least promising of vintages. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2029.
Wine Spectator - "An effusive aroma of ripe black cherry announces the seriousness of this red, which is concentrated and intense, with shadings of plum and spice from the toasty, smoky oak. Though broad-shouldered, there's a sense of harmony, followed by an expansive finish. Just a bit brawny on the finish. Best from 2015 through 2030."
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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. View all Ornellaia Wines
About TuscanyView a map of Tuscany wineries (TUSS-can-ee) Sangiovese. Most of the wine coming from Tuscany is made from some clone of this varietal, but a growing trend, started by the renegade winemakers of those Super Tuscans, is to incorporate more international varietals.
Notable FactsThe most well known sub-districts of Tuscany are Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano (note that Montepulciano here refers to the local village, not the grape variety found in the Italian region of Abruzzi). Wine labeled from these regions is DOC-regulated and Sangiovese-based blends. Quality wine from these DOC areas has been on the rise for decades, with top-notch winemakers and wineries shedding the low-quality image once held for Tuscan wine by producing consistently outstanding bottlings that range from deliciously drinkable to highly ageable. Newer to the scene are regions like Bohlgeri and the Maremma, home to of what are now termed "Super-Tuscans," named for the wine coming from the Tuscany area, but not following all of the DOC or DOCG laws required in Italy. In the 1970's, some pioneer winemakers began buying land outside of Chianti and Montalcino, and planting not only Sangiovese, but also international varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The wine they produced only fit into the lowest Italian category of "vina da tavola," but the winemakers sold the wine for high prices, creating an almost cult following, and spurning a new wine category called IGT.
A little ditty about Italy...This country has about as many wines as its had governments. With 20 different regions, hundreds of DOCs and even more indigenous varieties, the amount of wine made in Italy is mind-boggling. Most of the juice, however, remains in the country for thirsty Italians. Wine is food in Italy and its rare that a meal is consumed without a glass of vino. That said, it's not common to find many folks drinking wine without food either. In turn, it's a match, and a mighty good one at that. In fact, it's safe to say that Italian wine is a foodie wine – one that goes on the table for a myraid of meals.
For regions, the most popular are Tuscany (home of Chianti), Piedmont and the Tre-Venezie, which includes Veneto, Trentino Alto-Adige and Friuli. Other communes of note are in Southern Italy, and a few good wines are made elsewhere in the country. The islands of Sardinia and Sicily are members of the Italian winemaking community as well.
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