Robert Parker 97
The 2018 Masseto is the vintage surprise few of us could have expected. The season saw rains just before harvest, and vintners were forced into dramatic last-minute decisions and risks. The expert team at Masseto navigated those challenges with deft precision in this first vintage executed in the new winery that is now fully dedicated and engineered to fulfill the expectations of this iconic Merlot from coastal Tuscany. The new gravity-flow building has angular concrete fermentors and an old-fashioned basket press. Dark fruit and ripe blackberry bleed slowly into spice, leather, chocolate and sweet tobacco. The wine shows generous extraction and concentration; however, it remains light and lifted throughout. Welcome Masseto into your new home.
Anticipated maturity: 2024-2050
The 2018 Masseto is going to be an absolute thrill for readers who follow this iconic Bolgheri Merlot. Silky, mid-weight and supremely gracious, the 2018 reminds me of the 2004 in its aromatic intensity and classic, refined feel. Inky red/purplish fruit, cedar, lavender, espresso, sage and mint are some of the many aromas and flavors that develop with time in the glass. There is so much to like here. More than anything else, I am struck by how ripe and well balanced the tannins are, something that is rare for Masseto, especially in the early going, when the wine can be a bit burly. As was the case throughout Tuscany, the 2018 Masseto is the product of a cool year with a fair amount of rain in August. The 2018 was made from all of the key vineyard plots, minus the young vine replants. It is the first vintage made at the estate’s new winery, which is equipped with concrete fermenters that allow for more flexibility in extraction. Aging was 24 months in French oak, 100% new.
Anticipated maturity: 2026-2043