2016 masseto, toscana
Why We're Buying
Masseto Toscana IGT belongs in the fine wine hall of fame. While we could talk about the $900 price tag and the elite terroir, wine critic Monica Larner described the merlot best in 2016, saying, "Masseto has pulled off back-to-back home runs. This is the first time that an Italian wine has earned 100 points in successive vintages. The 2016 Masseto is a thunderstorm of emotions, but it manages to keep them under perfect control...These vintages are identical twins, two perfect wines."
A flashy style, featuring concentrated yet fluid flavors of blackberry, plum, violet, cedar and iron, wrapped in toasty, vanilla-scented oak. The acidity is vibrant and refined, but dense tannins provide support as this cruises to a long finish. Best from 2022 through 2045.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Masseto has pulled off back-to-back home runs. This is the first time that an Italian wine has earned 100 points in successive vintages. The 2016 Masseto is a thunderstorm of emotions, but it manages to keep them under perfect control. Like the 2015 Masseto before it, this vintage is a seamless wine of the highest pedigree. It represents an encore performance, continuing the string of successes that is bringing Italy to the forefront of the wine world. The first thing you'll notice is the thickness and concentration of the fruit that makes an immediate impact on all the senses, in terms of appearance, aroma and mouthfeel. There is no overstating the sheer power and richness of this iconic vintage of Italy's groundbreaking Merlot. Despite that considerable mass, this Masseto remains delicate and graceful. You gain better perspective as the wine opens in the glass and reveals deeper layers that were not immediately apparent on first nose: dark fruit, spice, sweet tobacco and black cherry. There is great tightness and laser focus to the fruit. I tasted the 2016 and 2015 vintages together for comparison when I scored this wine, and then I tasted this 2016 edition alone about a month later to confirm my impressions. These vintages are identical twins, two perfect wines.
Not yet released, the 2016 Masseto is sensational and unquestionably one of the greatest expressions of Merlot in the world. As always, it's 100% Merlot from a single vineyard that has a complex, diverse set of soils and expositions, causing harvest at times to be spread over as much as three weeks. Aged two years in oak, its deep purple color is followed by a powerful bouquet of black cherries, cassis, spicy oak, damp earth, green tobacco, and spring flowers. It's full-bodied, concentrated and masculine on the palate, with serious minerality, yet it stays flawlessly balanced with magical purity of fruit. With no shortage of concentration and structure, this primordial powerhouse of a Merlot needs 4-6 years of bottle age yet should evolve for decades. Merlot, or wine for that matter, doesn’t get any better!
Subtle aromas of underbrush, cedar, camphor and cassis waft out of the glass along with a whiff of blue flower. The firmly structured, full-bodied palate offers dried cherry, black currant jam, grilled sage and espresso alongside tightly-knit close-grained tannins. You’ll also notice the warmth of evident alcohol on the close but the rich fruit stands up to it.