Tenuta dell'Ornellaia Masseto 2008
Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
The 2001 vintage of this wine was ranked #6 on the Wine Spectator's Top 10 Wines of 2004
Masseto 2008 is the expression of a warm vintage, most of it having been harvested in the first half of September. With great concentration, its color is particularly deep and young. The nose is characterized by rich and fully ripe fruit yet without any traces of over ripeness, focused and intense with spicy and mineral notes. On the palate the wine is remarkably dense, concentrated and opulent, with a very pure expression of fruit. The tannins are present and firm giving the wine focus and precision to balance the wine's opulent richness. It is undoubtedly one of the great expressions of Masseto with a great ageing potential.
The Wine Advocate - "The 2008 Masseto is another huge wine. It boasts tons of energy in a tense, inward style I can only describe as implosive, as if the wine is holding back all of its energy. A deep core of black fruit, grilled herbs, licorice and new leather emerges from time to time, but the tannins are still imposing. There is no shortage of pedigree. I fully expect the 2008 to develop into one of the great Massetos. Needless to say, it will be interesting to taste the 2008 in vertical tastings in the future. Anticipated maturity: 2018-2033.
Wine Spectator - "A dark, extracted red, offering plenty of juicy plum, blackberry and violet notes framed by vanilla and toast. Squarely in the modern camp, yet this works. The tannins are slightly gritty now, but should mesh with time. Merlot. Best from 2014 through 2024. 400 cases imported."
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 & 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.