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La Massa Toscana 2006

Tuscan Blends from Tuscany, Italy
  • WS93
  • RP90
0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes


#31 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2008

"Rich, almost decadent aromas of crushed berry, meat and mole. Turns floral. Full-bodied, with velvety tannins and a long, caressing finish. A beauty. Best after 2011."
-Wine Spectator

"The 2006 La Massa is 60% Sangiovese, 30% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon that spent 14 months in French oak (20% new). It is a gorgeous, fruit-driven wine with superb depth in its plums, dark cherries, herbs and sweet toasted oak. It offers terrific balance in its fruit, structure and acidity, all of which come together in a very pretty La Massa."
-Wine Advocate

Critical Acclaim

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WS 93
Wine Spectator
RP 90
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
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La Massa

La Massa

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La Massa, Italy
Giampaolo Mota, the eldest son of Neapolitan family became the "black sheep" because he decided not go into the family's leather tanning business. His grandfather Giorgio was the only family member to support him in his venture into the wine business and thus, the top wine at La Massa carries his name. Giampaolo studied in France with renowned oenologist Emile Peynaud, working in St Emilion and Pomerol where he developed a fundamental understanding of the chemistry of the wine. He feels that this study, especially of the reductive/oxygenative cycle of red wine helps him make structured, solid, long-lived wines that are also very fruit driven.
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One of the most iconic Italian regions for wine, scenery and history, Tuscany is the world’s most important outpost for the Sangiovese grape. Ranging in style from fruity and simple to complex and age-worthy, Sangiovese makes up a significant percentage of plantings here, with the white Trebbiano Toscano coming in second.

Within Tuscany, many esteemed wines have their own respective sub-zones, including Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. The climate is Mediterranean and the topography consists mostly of picturesque rolling hills, scattered with vineyards.

Sangiovese at its simplest produces straightforward pizza-friendly wines with bright and juicy red fruit, but at its best it shows remarkable complexity and ageability. Top-quality Sangiovese-based wines can be expressive of a range of characteristics such as sour cherry, balsamic, dried herbs, leather, fresh earth, dried flowers, anise and tobacco. Brunello expresses well the particularities of vintage variations and is thus popular among collectors. Chianti is associated with tangy and food-friendly dry wines at various price points. A more recent phenomenon as of the 1970s is the “Super Tuscan”—a wine made from international grape varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Syrah, with or without Sangiovese. These are common in Tuscany’s coastal regions like Bolgheri, Val di Cornia, Carmignano and the island of Elba.

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Tuscan Blends

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Big, bold and modern in style, Tuscan Blends can be composed solely of international grape varieties or a mix of international and indigenous. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Syrah, are some of the most popular. They all marry with the indigenous Sangiovese very well, or can be blended together without Sangiovese—or even made on their own as single varietal bottlings!

Where did the idea come from? In the 1970s a few Tuscan winemakers had become disenchanted with Italian winemaking laws and decided to retaliate and get creative. They started making wine solely from these international grapes or adding them to Sangiovese, in differing proportions, with amazing success—and the phenomenon was born.

The most famous and revered Tuscan Blends from Italy are called “Super Tuscans.” One of the most well-known, ‘Tignanello,’ created by Antinori in 1971, is a blend of 80% Sangiovese, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc.

Ornellaia, established by Marchesi Lodovico Antinori in 1981, with the help of renowned agronomist Andre Tchelistcheff, remains a stellar example today; since 2002 Marchesi de' Frescobaldi has been the sole owner. It is typically a blend of about half Cabernet Sauvignon, a third Merlot and the rest filled in with Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.

Sassicaia, another, has earned itself an extraordinary reputation and global esteem, so much so that the Sassicaia property was actually awarded its very own appellation with the 1994 vintage. It is typically 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Cabernet Franc.

WWH114539_2006 Item# 97163