Masseto is seen as the top of the so-called Super Tuscans: Tuscan cult wines made from grapes that are not directly part of the local grapes in Toscane, such as the Sangiovese grape.
Masseto and Antinori - history
In the 1980s, there was already plenty of experimentation in Tuscany with grape varieties that were mainly found in Bordeaux: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Since these grapes performed well beyond expectations and the wines were downright good, the wines quickly became popular. However, because the wines were not made with grapes that could be used according to the appellations of Tuscany, these wines were qualified as Vino di Tavola. A table wine, therefore, the lowest qualification for wine. In the mid-1990s wine lovers were already aware of this fact and people sometimes jokingly shouted 'when you are in Tuscany you should always drink Vino di Tavola wines'.
From Vino di Tavola to IGT
In order to give this group of wines of high quality an appellation, the IGT qualification was created: indicazione geografica tipica. Ornellaia, Sassicaia, Tignanello and Masseto are some examples of wines that have an IGT rating. It was remarkable that in that time winemaker Antinori was well represented in the group of IGT wines.
Masseto : the vineyard and climate
Antinori started making Masseto in the mid 80's. The first official Masseto is from 1987. The critics were very positive from the first release. It is Antinori's cult wine, made entirely from Merlot grapes sourced from a small 7-hectare vineyard with its own winery. The climate is actually not suitable for Merlot, which is why making Masseto is a real challenge. But the influence of the sea and the terroir produces a beautiful wine. The wine is aged in new oak barrels from the forests of the "Massif Central" in France, after which it is matured in the bottle. Masseto's annual production is only 35,000 bottles.
At Best of Wines we have drunk all vintages since release. And over the years a few things have changed and the wine reflects the wishes and taste of the customer. You see the same thing at Penfolds Grange. But without exception, they are and remain beautiful wines that more and more fans know.
Masseto 1999 - tasting note
You know right away on first contact - this is Merlot, this is Italian and this could be Masseto. The terroir, that sultry warmth, the power. This is confirmed during the tasting. But now the dark tones are very present: licorice, mocha, pencil. A floweriness, Beautiful integration of the cedar wood, very soft tannins. And then the fruit, especially the black fruit. What an extremely elegant and silky smooth wine this is. It has something of the 1998, but softer. This wine is at its peak but can be at least 10 years if stored properly. BOW 9.
Please check this wine in our store.