Masseto is one of the most celebrated wines in the world. Coveted by international collectors and fine wine connoisseurs across the globe, Masseto constantly receives the highest accolades from the most prestigious wine critics in the world, and is a fixture in the international fine wine trade indices.
The overall growing conditions of the 2015 vintage were excellent, and the winemaking team believes that Masseto 2015 will have extraordinary aging potential. The vineyard benefited from the magical elements which come into play each year: the climate, the presence of the blue clay in the soils, the interaction of the marine influence, and the constant attention to detail paid by the vineyard workers.
Winemaker and Estate Director Axel Heinz underlined just how the marine influence was fundamental in all this, producing cooler sea breezes and a magnified intensity of light, especially towards the end of the day, which accompanied the grapes to a perfect ripening and ensured ideal temperatures during harvest.
In stylistic terms, the wine shows great class and that ever magical balance between power and elegance. An impressive Masseto born from a great vintage – sumptuous and silky. Decisively Mediterranean in character.
At the top of the Masseto hill, at an elevation of about 120 meters above sea level, the soils consist of loose clays and sand with many pebbles, which bless the wine with a marked elegance. This is the area definined as “Masseto Alto.” “Masseto Centrale” is the central part of the Masseto vineyard, which determines the soul and backbone of Masseto. With slopes of a 10% gradient, the high proportion of Pliocene clays defines the character of this terroir, providing power, concentration and tannic support, and therefore great character, structure and longevity. Finally, the lowermost rows grow on less clayey soils, giving the wine its breadth, softness, and generosity. This final area is called “Masseto Junior.” Within each of these three zones there are smaller areas that ripen differently and therefore require to be harvested at different times. Such a complex mosaic will naturally reflect in the wine by displaying great complexity and revealing multi-faceted dimension.
The bunches, hand harvested in 15kg crates, were carefully sorted by hand on a double sorting table before and after destemming and then subjected to a gentle crushing. Six different lots were vinified separately. Fermentation took place in both steel and wood tanks, followed by 15-20 days maceration at a temperature between 25 and 30° C. Afterwards, malolactic fermentation took place in 100% new oak barrique, and the different lots were kept separate for the first 12 months of maturation. The wine was then blended and reintroduced into the barrels for another year, making a total of 24 months. After bottling, the wine was aged for an additional 12 months prior to release.
Compared to a rather particular 2014, the 2015 proved to be an almost ‘text book’ vintage. After a rainy and mild winter, with just a few days of temperatures below zero, budbreak arrived on time during the first days of April. Spring was characterized by dry and sunny weather, providing ideal conditions for regular vegetative growth that culminated in a quick and complete flowering at the end of May. From June on, water stress gradually became evident. July will be remembered as a particularly torrid, dry month, with maximum temperatures exceeding 30°C every single day of the month. The heat, combined with the absence of rains, made us fear a shut-down in the ripening and the need for an early harvest. Luckily rain fell abundantly around 10 August that not only unblocked the ripening but also brought much cooler temperatures during the final ripening phase. This cool, yet sunny, weather continued throughout the harvest, allowing us to pick the grapes with great ease, choosing just the right moment to harvest the different vineyard blocks, resulting in a fresh and lively aromatic quality with a perfect degree of phenolic ripeness along with abundant, yet silky and soft, tannins. The harvest began on 29 August with the youngest vines and finished on the 16 September with the last portions of “Masseto Centrale”.
The particularly regular vintage, along with an ideal temperature during the harvest, is reflected in a classic Masseto, with a perfect balance between a mature, yet complex, aromatic expression of great freshness and a rare quality of ample, silky and smooth tannins. The dark and intense colour is followed by a rich aroma with hints of fully ripe red fruit and spicy, balsamic and cocoa notes. In the mouth it becomes sensual and rich, with great density and an ample and perfectly smooth tannin. The fruity notes are underlined by the subtle presence of oak – terminating in a fresh and vivid finish with pronounced hints of cocoa.
-Axel Heinz, Winemaker and Estate Director
Suggested Retail Price
James Suckling - "The aromas are profound here with a deep and vast character of black olives, cedar, chocolate and berries, as well as vanilla essence and light coffee. Flamboyant. Full-bodied, this powerful young Masseto is chewy, muscular and rich. Dusty tannins, yet wonderfully polished. A wine for the cellar. Try in 2022."
More on Masseto 2015
May 11, 2019 - Wine Spectator Unfiltered features the spectacular new "ultramodern underground winemaking lair" that Masseto unveiled just one month ago. Read the full story here.