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Flat front label of wine

Ornellaia Masseto (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2009

Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
  • JS95
  • RP94
  • WS93
0% ABV
  • JS98
  • RP97
  • WS96
  • JS99
  • WS94
  • JS100
  • WS97
  • RP95
  • RP98
  • JS98
  • WE97
  • WS95
  • RP97
  • WS93
  • WE100
  • WS97
  • RP96
  • JS96
  • RP100
  • JS99
  • WS98
  • WS96
  • RP94
  • WS98
  • RP96
  • JS100
  • WS100
  • RP98
  • WS90
  • RP96
  • WS95
  • JS95
  • JS99
  • RP97
  • WS96
  • JS98
  • RP94
  • WE93
  • WS92
  • JS95
  • WS94
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Winemaker Notes

Masseto 2009 is the expression of a particularly warm growing season that showcased all of the noble qualities of a great terroir. Working in harmony with the clay soil of the Masseto vineyard, we succeeded in achieving the balance, crispness, and aromatic complexity that are classic to all great wines. An impressively dark hue, Masseto 2009 mirrors its vintage, exhibiting intense impressions of ripe cherry, chocolate, spice, and coffee. Profound and full-volumed in the mouth, it boasts explosive fruit, and tannins which are glossy and firm. Its vein of crisp acidity fuels a long finish marked by a vivacious crispness.

Critical Acclaim

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JS 95
James Suckling
Sexy and muscular. Blackberries, licorice and tar on the nose. Bark, earth, and spice as well. Super subtle. Full-bodied, with super chewy tannins and a wonderful line. So beautiful. Creamy tannins. A baby 2001. Try in 2016.
RP 94
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2009 Masseto bursts from the glass with dark red berries, blackberries, flowers, licorice and tar. It shows lovely up-front juiciness and expressive inner perfume in a surprisingly accessible style for this wine. Like the Ornellaia, the 2009 Masseto has quite a bit of freshness, although it, too, is medium-bodied in structure. In this vintage the Ornellaia team was especially selective and only used part of the three vineyards that typically go into Masseto. I have been fortunate to taste every vintage of Masseto, most more than once recently. Masseto has a great track record for aging, even in the smallest, least promising of vintages. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2029.
Rating: 94+
WS 93
Wine Spectator
An effusive aroma of ripe black cherry announces the seriousness of this red, which is concentrated and intense, with shadings of plum and spice from the toasty, smoky oak. Though broad-shouldered, there's a sense of harmony, followed by an expansive finish. Just a bit brawny on the finish. Best from 2015 through 2030.
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Ornellaia

Ornellaia

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Ornellaia, Tuscany, Italy
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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.

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, as well as in price from budget-friendly to ultra-premium, Sangiovese makes up a significant percentage of plantings here, with the white Trebbiano Toscano trailing far behind.

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, perfect for Sangiovese as it ripens most efficiently on slopes with maximum exposure to sunlight.

Sangiovese at its simplest produces straightforward pizza-friendly wines with bright red fruit and not much more, but at its best it shows remarkable complexity. 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 in particular is sensitive to vintage variation, performing best in years that are not too hot and not too cold. 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, the island of Elba and more inland, in Carmignano.

An easy-going red variety with generous fruit and a supple texture, Merlot’s subtle tannins make it perfect for early drinking and allow it to pair with a wide range of foods. One simply needs to look to Bordeaux to understand Merlot's status as a noble variety. On the region’s Right Bank, it dominates in blends with Cabernet Franc, and on the Left Bank, it plays a supporting role to (and helps soften) Cabernet Sauvignon—in both cases resulting in some of the longest-lived and highest-quality wines in the world. They are often emulated elsewhere in Bordeaux-style blends, particularly in California’s Napa Valley, where Merlot also frequently shines on its own.

In the Glass

Merlot is known for its soft, silky texture and approachable flavors of ripe plum, red and black cherry, and raspberry. In a cool climate, you may find earthier notes alongside dried herbs, tobacco, and tar, while Merlot from warmer regions is generally more straightforward and fruit-focused.

Perfect Pairings

Lamb with Merlot is an ideal match—the sweetness of the meat picks up on the sweet fruit flavors of the wine to create a harmonious balance. Merlot’s gentle tannins allow for a hint of spice and its medium weight and bright acidity permit the possibilities of simple pizza or pasta with red sauce—overall, an extremely versatile food wine.

Sommelier Secret

Since the release of the 2004 film Sideways, Merlot's repuation has taken a big hit, and more than a decade later has yet to fully recover, though it is on its way. What many viewers didn't realize was that as much as Miles derided the variety, the prized wine of his collection—a 1961 Château Cheval Blanc—is made from a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc.

YNG37968_2009 Item# 121056