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2009 Ornellaia - Masseto

ITALY / TUSCANY /
abv 14.5%
  • 94 WA
  • 93 WS
  • 96 IWC
  • 16 JR
  • Variety
    Merlot
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SKU: 53693-2009-750-3B
  • Jancis Robinson | Rating: 16

    Ashamed to see that I have not recorded my tasting notes on other recent vintages of this wine. I must say I have tended to find them overly sweet and thick. This one definitely has more structure - almost as though it is taking Figeac rather than Bon Pasteur as its model. But the overall result, to sound horribly ungenerous, is a wine that, despite its high alcohol, seems a little light on fruit and tart and chewy on the finish. It may well get there eventually but at the moment is a bit like sucking upholstery webbing. Sorry. I know I must read like the nark of narks.
    Author: Jancis Robinson
  • Wine Spectator | Rating: 93

    An effusive aroma of ripe black cherry announces the seriousness of this red. It's concentrated and intense, with shadings of plum and spice from the toasty, smoky oak. Though broad-shouldered, there's a sense of harmony, followed by an expansive finish. Just a bit brawny on the finish.
    Author: Bruce Sanderson
  • International Wine Cellar | Rating: 96

    Good full ruby. Superripe, pure aromas of blackberry, cassis, violet, minerals, milk chocolate and exotic spices. Superconcentrated, rich and seamless, offering explosive sweetness but also great verve, thanks to bright acidity that provides wonderful lift and clarity to the blackberry, blueberry and black cherry flavors. Finishes with ultra-suave tannins and a kaleidoscope of violet and Oriental spice flavors. A very great Masseto from a hot year, when I would have expected the merlot to suffer a bit. But unlike in 2003, when it wasn't just hot but dry as well, Masseto's unique microclimate allowed the merlot to avoid major stress in 2009. As good and refined as the Ornellaia is in 2009, I think the Masseto has an extra layer of complexity and depth.
    Author: Ian D'Agata
    Issue: September/October 2012
  • Wine Advocate | Rating: 94

    The 2009 Masseto bursts from the glass with dark red berries, blackberries, flowers, licorice and tar. It shows lovely up-front juiciness and expressive inner perfume in a surprisingly accessible style for this wine. Like the Ornellaia, the 2009 Masseto has quite a bit of freshness, although it, too, is medium-bodied in structure. In this vintage the Ornellaia team was especially selective and only used part of the three vineyards that typically go into Masseto. I have been fortunate to taste every vintage of Masseto, most more than once recently. Masseto has a great track record for aging, even in the smallest, least promising of vintages.
    Author: Antonio Galloni
  • Self | Rating: 92

    dark red with lots of berries and licorice. not the usual concentration or balance though it had a sustained finish.
    Author: Budzo
A premiere estate located in Tuscany's Bolgheri coast, Tenuta dell'Ornellaia produces the renowned Merlot-based blends Masseto, Ornellaia, Le Serre Nuove, and Le Volte. The unique microclimate and combination of clay in the soil eventually proved ideal, epitomized by the 2001 Masseto, which garnered 100 points from the Wine Spectator. The pinnacle achievement at Ornellaia, the Masseto has developed a cult following for its limited allocation.

Ornellaia, a Cabernet, Merlot, Cabernet Franc blend which debuted in 1985, is the estate's signature wine. Le Serre Nuove, which requires less aging and displays a more fruit forward style, is something of a "second wine" and joins Le Volte, a Sangiovese, Cabernet, Merlot blend, as wines at a younger age.

See other similar producers:Isole e Olena,Fattoria San Giusto a Rentennano

The rolling hills of Tuscany are home to ancient vines that grew wild long before modern times. Sangiovese is the variety of the region's best-known wines, Brunello di Montalcino and Chianti. In recent years, “Super Tuscans"—blends including non-native Bordeaux varieties—have gained in popularity and acclaim. The region's Mediterranean climate, with its warmer average temperatures, provides ideal conditions for the development of rich, structured, and age-worthy wines. 

Merlot is a soft and elegant grape with medium tannin, high acidity, and notes of plum, red currant, tobacco and red cherry. It is typically aged in French oak, which contributes notes of mocha and clove.

Plantings of Merlot dominate Saint-Émilion and Pomerol, making this variety Bordeaux’s Right-Bank beauty. The variety is most famous amongst wine aficionados due to its presence in the world-renowned Château Petrus wine and its important role in Bordeaux blends. The typical style in this region is medium-bodied with medium alcohol and high acidity, fresh fruit character, and vegetal, leafy aromas. This herbaceous flavor profile is achieved by harvesting grapes earlier, a practice that is rare outside of Bordeaux.

In order to generate maximum intensity of color, concentrated fruit, and soft, velvety tannin, most other regions harvest Merlot grapes as late as possible. The best examples of this “international” style are aged in new oak to add flavors of toast, vanilla, and clove.

In Tuscany, Merlot is a key contributor to “Super-Tuscan” blends and is also made in a varietal style by top Italian producers Ornellaia, Tua Rita and Petrolo Galatrona. California producers such as Pahlmeyer, Blankiet Estate, and Pride Mountain are also responsible for some of the world’s best wines made from Merlot. 

Merlot tends to fall in the middle of the spectrum for tannin, color, flavor, and acid, making it a strong match for a wide variety of food. Typical pairings include Cornish hen, roasted chicken, richly sauced dishes, casseroles, and caramelized vegetables.

Collector Data For This Wine

  • 485 bottles owned
  • 61 collectors
  • Average collector rating: 92
    (Out of 61 collectors)