2016: An exemplary vintage reconfirms the legend of Masseto
In Masseto’s thirty-year history, each new vintage is eagerly awaited with the anticipation that this wine deserves. An anticipation which was fully satisfied with a 2016 which, thanks to a textbook vintage, was able to capture and fully express the distinctiveness of the hill it comes from.
Masseto 2016 is once again a remarkable expression of power and class, of silky concentration, of extremely balanced complexity coming from a vineyard located 120 meters above sea level, only a few kilometres away from the Mediterranean coast and planted on blue clay soils, which are unique in the Bolgheri area.
In the glass, the wine reveals “a particularly intense and young colour, on the nose, the intense aroma of ripe dark fruit blends with subtle notes of cocoa and spices. On the palate, the rich and dense structure of ripe and silky tannins is balanced by a sensual and vibrant fruity note and a lively acidity that creates a long finish that is clean and full-bodied”. This is how Eleonora Marconi describes it, the winemaker of Masseto who works under the directorship of Axel Heinz. A verdict unanimously shared by influential wine critics who reviewed Masseto even before its official release on the market.
After a legendary 2015, it was perhaps ambitious to expect another textbook vintage but 2016 turned out to be highly successful with a dry and sunny growing season, plenty of sunshine and the right amount of rain, which accompanied the grapes to a perfect maturation. After verifying the excellent phenolic potential of the grapes and the balanced sugar/acidity ratio, harvest began on 24 August, starting from the youngest vines/rows and ended on 20 September in the ‘Masseto Centrale,’ section of the vineyard, home to the older vines/plants.
Today Masseto, a wine that has been internationally acclaimed since its inception in the 1980s, has its own winery. Only the grape receiving area and a farmhouse called ‘Casa Masseto’ are externally visible. It is within the depths of the hill that most of the winery is located. A series of spaces with varying internal volumes, heights and levels that are reminiscent of a sacred place and offer the perfect wine-making and aging conditions for Masseto.
In the heart of the winery lies the ‘Masseto Caveau,’ – the winery’s historical library. Few bottles from each and every vintage are preserved here as the jewels of the winery, suspended inside a stainless-steel mesh. And it is right here where a few bottles of Masseto 2016 have been laid down to age in a perfect environment.
This April, Masseto has inaugurated its “home” with a wine cellar designed by the architects ZitoMori. Carved deep into the ancient blue clay that underpins the vineyard, the Masseto winery is a physical and symbolic tribute to the Estate’s history and rapid evolution from intuition about the hidden potential of a vineyard site, to internationally acclaimed wine.
Masseto, located on the Tuscan coast close to the small village of Bolgheri, is a wine that was never meant to exist. The potential of the slope where the vineyard now sits was finally seen in the 1980’s, when, against all odds, advice and local tradition, the first vines were planted. Intuition paid off. The blue clay, cooling coastal breezes and abundant refracted light from the Tyrrhenian Sea all contribute to Masseto’s intriguing combination of power, elegance and complexity. Masseto has received international acclaim since its birth in 1986.
The Masseto estate is controlled by the Frescobaldi Family group.