|Italy||2018||Masseto||BT||1 \ 1||13||7,200.00||12||13||800||100.00||100.00||Masseto||0.75||10|
|Wines are offered subject to remaining unsold. E&OE.|
Axel Heinz turning out yet again a wine that is generous and moreish but that goes deeper, offering layers of coffee, smoked herbs, rosemary, saffron, gentle waves of powerful brambled fruits. Mouthwatering, with tension and precision. Finely spun tannin that are elastic in embracing and taming the exuberant fruits yet chewy enough on the finish to show there is plenty of ageing ability ahead. Makes a big impression and yet has that Italian ability to be gulpable at the same time. A more elegant, moreish version of Merlot than you get in the biggest Pomerols, but every bit as beautiful. 11ha.
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.
As was the case throughout Tuscany, the 2018 Masseto is the product of a cool year with a fair amount of rain in August. The 2018 was made from all of the key vineyard plots, minus the young vine replants. It is the first vintage made at the estate’s new winery, which is equipped with concrete fermenters that allow for more flexibility in extraction. Aging was 24 months in French oak, 100% new.
This is extremely perfumed with flowers, cherries and blackberries, as well as hints of lavender. It’s full-bodied, yet so refined, linear and racy. Pure silk. The texture is every so polished. Succulent and subtle fruit at the end. New wood showing now. A sophisticated Masseto that shows balance and harmony. Builds with tannins at the finish. Needs time to come completely together. Try after 2025.
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 fermentors 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.