New Winemaker at Masseto: Eleonora Marconi

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We are pleased to announce the appointment of Eleonora Marconi as the new winemaker of Masseto, under the supervision of Axel Heinz, Masseto Estate Director. 

Eleonora discovered her passion for wine back in high school, when she trained as a sommelier. From there she began studying for a degree in oenology at the Polytechnic University of Marche in Ancona, Italy, which led to an internship at the famed Frescobaldi Castello di Nipozzano winery and then to a full timeposition as winemaker over a period of 6 years.

born in Italy to an Italian father and Australian mother, Eleonora has a meticulous and thorough approach to winemaking and a true appreciation and respect for terroir.

In addition to her work at Nipozzano in Italy, she has garnered international experience working in the vineyards of South Australia and France. 

Also, she is part of a growing number of women who are making strides in the wine business – an industry once dominated by men.

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MASSETO 2014

 

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.

Masseto 2013

Vintage 2013 will be remembered as one of the latest harvests in  history with particularly favorable growing conditions for Merlot. 

 

masseto-bottlesThe Masseto vineyard is a unique place with a mosaic of different soils including an exceptional presence of grey clay. The gentle breezes coming off the sea during the warm summer months, the intensity of the sunlight and the specificity of the unique soils, allow the vines to develop and ripen gradually and contribute to granting Masseto its enchanting combination of freshness and ripeness.

Masseto 2013, which is being released in this period,  is once again testimony to the unique alliance of terroir, climate and human talent determining its timeless value. This vintage will be remembered as one of the latest harvests in the history of Masseto to date”. Alex Belson, Director MASSETO

After a dry 2012, winter 2013 was characterized by mild but very rainy weather, which caused a delay in budding of up to 15 days. A cool, rainy spring also led to an irregular, very long flowering period, with  two-week delay compared to the average, which reduced the crop and resulted in uneven development of the grapes. Fortunately the summer, which arrived punctually at the end of June, was perfect, dry and sunny, with a few peaks of heat in July and August. The slow vegetative development was ultimately beneficial because it deferred ripening until after the hottest period. The August storms significantly lowered temperatures, especially at night, which favoured aromatic expression. This however led to a later than average harvest, which started on 12 September with the “Masseto Alto” vineyard parcel and concluded on 25 September with the last parcel of “Masseto Centrale”, with predominantly sunny weather

without excessive heat.

“Masseto 2013 is the result of an overall late, fresh weather during the harvesting period. These are particularly favorable conditions for Merlot, which was able to ripen slowly and completely in sunny weather, without excessive heat. These conditions enhanced full expression of the aromatic qualities and perfect ripening of the polyphenolic content. Intense ruby in colour, the nose immediately reveals fully ripe fruitiness endowed with great freshness and complexity, underlined by delicate notes of vanilla and cocoa. On the palate, the wine is substantial and rich, with great density, and a rare tannic quality of silkiness and smoothness. Black fruit aromas are accompanied by a strong note of freshness and a long, elegant finish, which is prolonged with a delicate hint of cocoa”. Axel Heinz, Winemaker and Estate Director MASSETO

The clusters, hand-picked in 15 kg boxes, were graded and selected by hand on a double sorting table before and after de-stemming, and then gently pressed. Each of the four vineyard blocks was vinified separately. Fermentation took place in either steel or wooden vats, followed by maceration for 15-20 days at a temperature of between 25 and 30°C. Malolactic fermentation was started in 100% new oak barrels, keeping the different lots separate for the first 12 months of maturation. The final blend was subsequently assembled and reintroduced in the barrels for a further year, for an overall  total of 24 months. After bottling, the wine was aged for an additional 12 months prior to release.