1999, Masseto

NA, Tuscany, Italy

(Priced at per bottle)


Score: 94

Drinking Dates: 2007-2019

Critic: Robert Parker

Tasted: 31-Dec-2002

The 2014 Masseto has developed beautifully over the past few years of its oak and bottle evolution. This is a very distinctive edition of the iconic Italian Merlot that delivers a silky and streamlined approach. As bold and opulent as Masseto is in the warm vintages, I personally find those wines difficult to finish because the extract, concentration and intensity are so over the top. The best vintages of Masseto usually overpower any food dish you put before them. This is a subdued and downplayed expression instead. The cool summer season has shaped fresh berry notes of wild blackberry and cassis with drying mineral, tobacco, licorice and tar. There is evident sweetness here in terms of the wine's fruit flavors and its tannins, but there also is a cooling vein of acidity that makes the difference. The alcohol feels integrated and light. If you are hankering for a less massive and less muscular Masseto, this vintage is for you. This year represents the dawning of a new chapter in Masseto’s long history. As you can see in this report, Masseto is listed as its own winery outside the Tenuta dell’Ornellaia umbrella. I had also recorded the 2013 Masseto as its own brand. General Manager for both Masseto and Ornellaia, Alex Heinz explains that company insiders have long seen these as two distinct entities. In fact, Masseto is getting a dedicated winery to complete its independence. The 2,000-square meter space should be operative in time for the 2018 harvest. Today, you see a large yellow crane hovering over an unfinished concrete floor plan. When the Masseto winery is completed, it will house the entire production process from grape reception to bottling. Even the library of old vintages will be housed here. Masseto is moving out on its own.