This year will enter the record books as one of the longest seasons and latest harvests ever, in which the unique qualities of the Masseto terroir played a crucial role.
The 2014 vintage will remain one of the most unusual in Masseto’s history. A warm, rainy winter yielded to a mild, dry spring that encouraged normal vegetative development with a timely, even flowering. After normal conditions in July, August turned rainy and cold, making it difficult for the grapes to ripen and significantly increasing the risk of fungal diseases. However, meticulous work carried out in the vineyard throughout August, including leaf-pulling and anti-fungal treatments, allowed the grapes to remain healthy and arrive in excellent condition at harvest in September and October, when the weather was mostly sunny and dry. As always, great terroirs reveal their qualities, and in 2014 the blue clays of Masseto proved their enviable powers, swelling and making the soils impermeable, thus avoiding excessive accumulation of water and consequent dilution of the grapes. During the harvest, the painstaking selection of clusters was essential and some individual vineyard blocks were harvested in up to three separate passes. A rigorousquality-selection was also carried out on sorting tables, so that only sound, perfectly-ripe grapes went into the tanks. .
“Stylistically, the wine displays outstanding balance, with supple, velvety tannins and remarkably complex aromatics,” noted Alex Heinz, Winemaker and Estate Director. “This Masseto expresses a refined sensuality and silk-smooth seductiveness, all in its own distinctively classic, elegant fashion. The 2014 vintage is testimony to the incredible ability of Masseto to cope with adverse weather conditions, thanks as well to the crucial role played by the clay and by the overall natural balance of these vines. All of which amounts a harmonious combination of terroir and human interpretation.”
“This year has been an auspicious one for Masseto,” explained Alex Belson, Director of Masseto. “We have just started excavations into the heart of the Masseto hill to lay the foundations for a dedicated wine production facility that will be ready in time for the 2018 harvest. It has been incredibly exciting to see these blue clays emerge, impermeable and so distinctive, with their mysterious secrets of millions of years”
To offer some specifics regarding processing, the clusters, harvested by hand into 15kg boxes, were selected by hand on a double sorting tables before and after de-stemming, and then gently pressed. A full eight individual vineyard blocks were picked and vinified separately. Fermentations took place in tanks of both steel and wood, followed by a maceration of 15-20 days at a temperature between 25 and 30°C. Malolactic fermentation started in 100% new oak barrels, and the different lots were kept separate for the first 12 months of maturation. The wine was then assembled and reintroduced into the barrels for another year. After bottling, the wine was aged for an additional 12 months prior to release.