Tenuta dell'Ornellaia 2005 Masseto Toscana IGT
96 pts James Suckling “This is a Masseto that is its own now with balance and harmony. It shows delicate chocolate and berry character with hints of hazelnut. Medium to full body. Long silky finish.”
94 pts Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate "The 2005 Masseto (Merlot) is simply gorgeous. A wine of extraordinary class and personality, it remains very primary in its dark fruit, licorice, cassis and toasted oak. It offers notable concentration and well-integrated tannins, all of which convey an impression of awesome harmony, finesse and balance. The tricky growing season seems to have been less of an issue for the Merlot, particularly in the old-vine Masseto Centrale vineyard. The 2005 Masseto has been superb every time I have tasted it thus far. As is often the case, the wine requires at least a few years of bottle age before it becomes approachable. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2025."
The winter of 2005 was, with the exception of a few bitterly cold days between February and March that delayed budbreak by a few days, rather mild, and was followed by a spring that quickly became hot and sunny. As a result, the vines flowered about a week early, around the 20th May. Vegetative vigour and productive potential displayed perfect harmony from the beginning. June and July behaved as expected: heat, sun, and just a few drops of rain… Perfect for the veraison to occur evenly. The grapes ripened steadily in August, under constant temperatures that never exceeded the seasonal average (32 °C). A few rains around August 15 contributed the optimal development of the bunches. At the end of August, the preliminary analyses revealed extremely high polyphenolic potentials, which are indicative of a great vintage. September provided us with alternating beautiful sunny days and sudden showers. To allow the grapes to ripen fully and develop optimal concentrations, we harvested late, beginning with the lower part of the Masseto vineyard on 14th September and finishing up the central part on 30th September.
TASTING NOTES: The fruit of a particularly late harvest, Masseto displays great aromatic maturity, with fruit and spice joining the usual balsamic and mentholated accents. Ample, rich, and full on the palate, its once potent tannins have mellowed to leave a sense of great vivacity and freshness to counterbalance the richness. The wine is a joy to drink right now but can certainly further improve with more bottle age.
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