2014 Tenuta dell' Ornellaia Masseto IGT

Year: 2014
Appellation: Tuscany
Country: Italy
Wine Spectator: 94
Wine Advocate: 94
Vinous Media: 92+
James Suckling: 97
Wine Enthusiast: 92
Red Wine
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"A rich version, featuring cherry, strawberry, cedar, coffee and mocha flavors, this opens up to reveal a polished feel and fine-grained tannins. Merlot. Best from 2021 through 2035. -B.S." (WS)

"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." (WA)

"The 2014 Masseto has taken quite a bit of time to start to emerge. In that sense, it reminds me a bit of the 2008, another wine that took several years to be the least bit pleasurable. Masseto has a tremendous track record of aging, especially in cooler years. I think that will be the same here. Its best showing was at a recent complete vertical, where it was terrific, even in the company of all the truly great Massetos. Readers should expect a mid-weight, nervous, distinctly savory Masseto in 2014." (VM)

"Beautiful aromas of violets and blackberry with hints of spice. Some sweet tobacco. Full body, yet refined and polished with ultra-fine tannins and a long, long finish. The texture and intensity are exceptional. Fantastic for the vintage. Drink in 2021 but a joy to taste." (JS)

"Aromas of cedar, red berry, pipe tobacco and a whiff of toasted oak lift out of the glass. The elegant but restrained palate delivers red cherry, cassis, licorice and exotic spice alongside bright acidity and fine-grained polished tannins. It's an admirable effort for the cool wet vintage." (WE)

Winery Notes:
In a vintage where the quality of the terroir the patience and rigor of the workers made it possible to achieve full ripening, Masseto 2014 represents a most elegant and refined expression. Intense in colour the nose immediately reveals complexity and freshness with hints of red berries, sweet spices, and a slight aroma of toasted wood. On the palate silky with a fine, smooth texture, supported by a vibrant fruitiness and a lively acidity, all perfectly integrated. A long, intense finish concludes the tasting.