Tenuta dell'Ornellaia Masseto 2004
Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
"Shows wonderful aromas of flowers and berries, with hints of vanilla and Indian spices. Full-bodied and powerful, with layers of chewy tannins and a long, flawless finish. Compact and dense, yet racy and refined. Not the perfect 2001, but close. Best after 2013."
The Wine Advocate - "The 2004 Masseto is all silk and elegance. The 2004 is arguably the most finessed, silky Masseto ever made. Bright floral notes add lift and precision to a core of sweet red berries and spices in this supple, exceptionally polished wine. This is the height of elegance and polish with Masseto. Anticipated maturity: 2011-2024."
International Wine Cellar - "Deep bright ruby with purple highlights. Extravagantly rich, multidimensional aromas of raspberry, ripe black plum and violet are complicated by black truffle, espresso, milk chocolate and mineral, with high-quality vanillin oak remaining in the background. Wonderfully silky on the palate but with immense power, this is real iron-fist-in-a-velvet-glove. The imposingly rich fruit avoids coming across as overripe, and the notes of leather, tobacco, tamarind and mocha linger on the palate for minutes. A compellingly suave and smooth wine whose extremely fine-grained tannins and hint of slightly sharp acidity bring the wine's rich, complex flavors into full focus. This is probably the best pair of wines made at Ornellaia since 2001-a distinct step ahead of the 2003s and 2002s made here-and must purchases for collectors with deep pockets. "
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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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.