Tenuta dell'Ornellaia Masseto 1998
Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
A big, juicy red. Black, with intense aromas of black olives and sage, plus masses of fruit. Full-bodied and very velvety, with a long, long finish. A magical Masseto the best yet.
James Suckling - "This is a good example of how the 1998 vintage was better in the region of Bolgheri than 1997. It shows superb fruit with berry and chocolate character and hints of nuts and dark fruit. It's still full-bodied with chewy yet polished tannins. This is tight and like a wine 10 years younger. Decant three or four hours before serving."
The Wine Advocate - "The 1998 is even better. It shares much of the richness of the 1997, but with more delineation and nuance. The wine blossoms beautifully on the mid-palate and finish, with layers of expressive fruit and fabulous overall balance. This is a stunning Masseto. Anticipated maturity: 2011-2018. "
Wine Spectator - "Great dark color. Intense aromas of ripe currant, prune, dried fruits and fresh rosemary. Loads of fresh sage and other herbs. Full-bodied, with beautiful tannins. Decadent, yet wonderfully caressing. Fabulous opulence here. Merlot.--1997 Italian blind retrospective. Drink now through 2018. 2,500 cases made."
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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.
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Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.