The wine that most delighted me at this historic tasting of Tuscany's most iconic wines was the 2006 Masseto. This is a wine of sheer power, bliss, opulence, infinity and sublime seduction. This Merlot-based masterpiece hits all your senses with the grace of a ballerina and the power of a heavyweight. It is steady on its proverbial feet, but it also glides over the palate with a profound sense of elegance, harmony and rhythm. Among the prized vintages of Masseto, including 2001, 2004 and 2007, this edition is my favorite. The wine delivers an extra sense of tightness or firmness at the back that serves to stitch together its fleshy richness and general sumptuousness. The personality is sunny, expansive, articulate and sophisticated. You'll remember that the 2006 vintage is celebrated for the elegance of its wines. In the coastal Bolgheri appellation, it is also remembered for the power of its wines. You get the best of both worlds with this stunning creation: elegance and power. These traits are particularly well suited to the versatile grape variety at the heart of this Tuscan all-rounder. This is a true Renaissance wine.
I can still remember nearly falling out of my chair the first time I tasted the 2006 Masseto (100% Merlot) from barrel. The wine is now in bottle, and it is every bit as monumental as I had hoped. The wine possesses staggering richness in a style that perfectly captures the essence of this great Tuscan vintage. Black cherries, flowers, licorice and sweet toasted oak are just some of the nuances that emerge from the 2006 Masseto. A wine of breathtaking depth, it also reveals superb clarity, freshness and vibrancy in a sumptuous, beautifully-balanced style. Simply put, the 2006 Masseto is a masterpiece from Tenuta dell' Ornellaia. According to Agronomist/General Manager Leonardo Raspini the dryness of the vintage slowed down the maturation of the sugars, leaving the wine with an unusually high level of acidity, and therefore freshness, considering its overall ripeness. Anticipated maturity: 2016-2031.