2018 Tenuta dell’Ornellaia Masseto

2018 Tenuta dell’Ornellaia Masseto

Published by The Wine Emporium on 6th Apr 2022

2018 Climate & Vintage

After the drought vintage 2017, winter 2018 seemed to indicate that things were getting back to normal, with cold weather and even a few days of snow which they had not seen for years. Things changed quickly from March onwards with one of the rainiest springs in Masseto’s history. At the same time temperatures, particularly in April, were higher than average, which led to a rapid vegetative growth, culminating in flowering which occurred one full week earlier than normal.

Precise timing and presence of all their workforce was required to keep pace with the vines and operate shoot thinning and positioning of the canopy. While temperatures came back to “normal” in May, the high amount of rain created a high level of disease pressure, especially for downy mildew, which put the nerves of vine growers to the test for the rest of the growing season. Only through perfect organization and capacity to enter the vineyard for spraying in the few days without rain was it possible to get control of diseases, keeping canopies and grapes healthy.

In July, mostly sunny and warm weather allowed for a little rest before véraison started late in the month. August was warm with a bit of rain around the 15th, which prevented the appearance of any major water stress. Sugars and acidity moved at a slow pace while berry sizes grew a bit more than usual. Harvest started on 31st August with the youngest gobelet-trained vines, and then stopped for one week until picking started for the older vines on the 6th September. Differences between parcels within Masseto were particularly marked, leading to a very long harvest that was concluded only on 4th October and yielded 9 different vinification lots.

Vinification & Aging

The bunches, hand harvested in 15kg crates, were selected by hand on a double sorting table before and after destemming, then subjected to soft crushing. Fermentation took place in concrete tanks, small portions of vineyards in barrels at temperatures between 25 and 30°C. Maceration times ranged from 21 to 28 days. Malolactic fermentation began in 100% new oak barrique, while keeping the various lots separate for the first 12 months of elevage. Subsequently, the wine was blended and reintroduced once again into the barrels for another year, for a total of 24 months. As usual, Masseto 2018 was given another 12 months in bottle before being released on the market.

To purchase any of the wines in this offer, please email Phil Stanton at [email protected] - this is a pre-arrival offer, with wines due to arrive late April 2022. Prices valid until stock runs out or until Thursday 14th of April 2022.

Prices & Tasting Notes

2018 Tenuta dell’Ornellaia Masseto - $2100 rrp ; $1750 per bottle

“The 2018 Masseto is going to be an absolute thrill for readers who follow this iconic Bolgheri Merlot. Silky, mid-weight and supremely gracious, the 2018 reminds me of the 2004 in its aromatic intensity and classic, refined feel. Inky red/purplish fruit, cedar, lavender, espresso, sage and mint are some of the many aromas and flavors that develop with time in the glass. There is so much to like here. More than anything else, I am struck by how ripe and well balanced the tannins are, something that is rare for Masseto, especially in the early going, when the wine can be a bit burly.” - 98 Points, Antonio Galloni, Vinous

“The 2018 Masseto is the vintage surprise few of us could have expected. The season saw rains just before harvest, and vintners were forced into dramatic last-minute decisions and risks. The expert team at Masseto navigated those challenges with deft precision in this first vintage executed in the new winery that is now fully dedicated and engineered to fulfill the expectations of this iconic Merlot from coastal Tuscany. The new gravity-flow building has angular concrete fermenters and an old-fashioned basket press. Dark fruit and ripe blackberry bleed slowly into spice, leather, chocolate and sweet tobacco. The wine shows generous extraction and concentration; however, it remains light and lifted throughout. Welcome Masseto into your new home.” - 97 Points, Monica Larner, The Wine Advocate

“Saturated ruby colour. Bold and succulent on the nose, with poached plums and roasted dark cherries bursting forth. There are also tones of espresso and dark chocolate, as well as a little pepper. The palate is rippling with muscle, the mouth-coating and dense tannins providing ample structure for fruit that is both intense and deep. Ripe black fruit, cinnamon and sweet baking spices all come through. This is hedonistic, full-throttle Merlot, but despite the ripeness and power it is not overblown. Very impressive and very long.” - 18+ Points, Jancis Robinson

2019 Tenuta dell’Ornellaia Massetino - $795 rrp ; $675 per bottle

“Tasted before bottling, the 2019 Massetino is shaping up beautifully. This is the third vintage made of the Merlot-based wine enhanced with a small part of Cabernet Franc. The Cabernet Franc is what distinguishes this euphemistically diminutive expression of Masseto, and it is its distinctive vinous signature. The 2019 vintage is soft and pliant but also incredibly rich and layered. It offers generous black fruit with ripe cherry and blackberry. Spice, tobacco and campfire ash fill in the rear and build the aromatic profile of this wine that is already stacked tall and proud. We still need to see how the 2019 plays out in the bottle, and I am especially interested to gauge how the thick and rich fruit concentration works against the less pronounced acidity of the vintage.” - (94-96) Points, Monica Larner, The Wine Advocate

“The 2019 Massetino is fabulous once again in 2019. The estate has really hit on to something with their second wine. Inky dark fruit, mocha, chocolate, lavender, pencil shavings, licorice and espresso all meld together in the glass. Massetino has all the richness of the Grand Vin, but less heft, which makes it more approachable. The 2019 is a rich wine, with 15.5% alcohol, but that is not especially evident.” - 94 Points, Antonio Galloni, Vinous

To purchase any of the wines in this offer, please email Phil Stanton at [email protected] - this is a pre-arrival offer, with wines due to arrive late April 2022. Prices valid until stock runs out or until Thursday 14th of April 2022.