Tenuta dell'Ornellaia Masseto (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2010
Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
The relatively cool climate during 2010 yielded a wine that is remarkably elegant and with superb, complex aromatics. The color is dense and near-opaque, while the nose boasts intense, deep fruit accompanied by delicate spice notes and a vein of crisp minerality. If the palate may be somewhat less opulent than in warmer years, it displays an impressively-dense suite of firm tannins that seem to linger forever. The equally-lengthy finish conveys elegant notes of toast and chocolate. A great Masseto, full of elegance and finesse, but with its customary magnificence.
The Wine Advocate - "The 2010 Masseto is truly monumental, leaving you breathless and wordless all at once. Once you sip the wine, it takes a few minutes before you grasp the enormity of its beauty and potential. You almost have to wonder how enologist Axel Heinz could conceive of a wine this beautiful - and how did he execute it? I could wax poetic for hours: Dark cherry, chocolate, baking spice and tobacco smoke lift off the bouquet in thin veils and magical puffs. The quality of the aromas is exceptional, but again, the seamless integration is what makes Masseto a protagonist of Italian wine. No matter how much time goes by, that beauty will remain firmly etched in your memory bank. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2030."
James Suckling - "A wine with amazing depth and grace. Super-integrated tannins and a currant, berry character. Full body, great fruit and a long, long finish. A classic quality in this pure merlot wonder. Delightfully fresh too. Try in 2017. "
Vinous / Antonio Galloni - "I doubt many people could pick the 2010 Masseto blind in a lineup of top-flight Right Bank wines. An utterly brilliant, focused Merlot, the 2010 Masseto is totally alive and vibrant. A myriad of aromas and flavors develop in the glass, but ultimately the 2010 has a crystalline quality that I have never before seen in Masseto. The 2010 isn't quite as extroverted as the 2006, but it might very well move in that direction over time. Readers who are used to the forward, explosive fruit typical of young Masseto won't find that here. Instead, the 2010 is built on serious energy. In my view, it is without question one of the very finest Massetos ever made. In 2010, only the older, core Masseto parcels (Masseto Centrale and Alto) were used."
Wine Spectator - "Rich and concentrated, showing blackberry, plum, clove and spice flavors buoyed by dense tannins. With aeration, a cedar note emerges and the texture becomes smooth and seamless. Tightly knit and refined, this will be terrific once the oak is integrated. Merlot. Best from 2016 through 2032."
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Tenuta dell'Ornellaia Winery
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 Tenuta dell'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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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.