2004 Tenuta dell'Ornellaia Masseto

100
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Wine Critic Reviews for 2004 Tenuta dell'Ornellaia Masseto

The 2004 Masseto, one of my personal favorites, is positively stellar. I have always adored the 2004 for its silky tannins, stunning aromatic presence and total finesse, all of which are on display today. Beautifully pure to the long finish and profoundly beautiful in every way, the 2004 has it all. It was a textbook vintage that only presented one real challenge, and that was moderating the naturally high yields that resulted from an unblocking of energy the vines had held in store from the previous year. Where producers moderated yields, the wines are often stunning, as is very much the case here. If forced to choose only one vintage of Masseto I could own or drink it would be the 2004.

Antonio Galloni | 100 AG
Even better than the highly acclaimed 2001 vintage, this Merlot from a tiny, clay soil vineyard in Bolgheri is just about everything you've ever dreamed of tasting. Gorgeous, generous, voluptuous, cheerful, succulent and intense: Masseto is all those things. The aromas are seamless and capture the essence of chocolate fudge, sweet cherry, blackberry, spice and vanilla. It boasts thick, dense extraction, excellent structure and amazing persistence.

Wine Enthusiast | 99 WE
Ripe cherry, mulberry, coffee and spice flavors mark this complex bouquet. Lush, intense and firmly structured, with savory elements of leather, tobacco and wild herbs. The fine, juicy finish is extremely long. Merlot.—Non-blind Masseto vertical (October 2017). Best from 2020 through 2035. 2,680 cases made, 555 cases imported.

Wine Spectator | 98 WS
The stunning 2004 Masseto (100% Merlot) presents layers of sweet jammy dark fruit and mineral notes that burst forth from the glass with notable length, purity and delineation. It is a decidedly elegant and super-refined Masseto that continues to integrate its 100% new oak well, showing extraordinary class and fine, silky-textured tannins that caress the palate on the long finish. The 2004 will be hard to resist in its youth as it is incredibly delicious even now, yet it promises to develop gracefully to at least age 20. It is a phenomenal effort that is not to be missed. Anticipated maturity: 2011-2024.

Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 97 RP
A more complete vintage compared to the likes of 2013 or 2011, this is ruby in the glass and focused on red fruits, framboise sauvage, dry mushrooms, leather and wet earth. Flavours of plum and cherry are followed by ground coffee on the finish. This Masseto is firm, with acidity pushing initially silky then extracted and super-chewy tannins. Still nervous and rugged despite the ageing, yet showing layers of enticing complexity, it clamours for food. Drinking Window 2021 - 2030.

Decanter | 96 DEC
There is such precision and refinement to this Masseto with a freshness and deliciousness that makes you want to drink it now. It full to medium bodied, with lovely density and a bright acidity with fine tannins. Goes on for minutes on the finish. Drink or hold.

James Suckling | 96 JS

Wine Details on 2004 Tenuta dell'Ornellaia Masseto

More Information
Producer Antinori
Region Tuscany: Italian culture worships the concept of a shared meal, and their wines scream for a chance to be uncorked with your friends and family. The region's Mediterranean climate and hilly landscape combine to create a beautiful viticultural environment, where every chosen grape is brought to its full potential and transmuted into drinks worthy of gods. The vineyards are planted along the higher reaches of the hill slopes, creating a gorgeous view of the Italian landscape.

Once your lips kiss the wine, you're sent spiraling down a veritable whirlpool of pure flavor, touching upon notes of sensuous cherry, nuts, floral hints and undertones of honey and minerals. The wines can be as sweet as a fresh summer romance, and carry an air of dignity and elegance about them that can stimulate your intellect for months as you contemplate the seemingly infinite intricacies and details in the texture. Tuscany is an important part of Italian viticulture, and sampling their wines is the closest you can get to visiting this heavenly region and experiencing the culture.
Subregion Toscana
Country Italy: What are the first things that come to mind when thinking about Italy and Italian culture? There's one thing that nearly everyone tends to mention, it's the food - and where there's fine food, there is almost always fine wine. Italy is the most prolific wine region in the world, outclassing even France in terms of production quantity. Even if you're a complete wine novice, you have almost certainly heard of names such as Barolo and Barbaresco, Italy's most famous wine styles. When it comes to soil composition and other geographical characteristics, Italy offers a lot of diversity, and this never fails to show in the wines themselves.
Type of Wine Super Tuscans/IGT
Varietal Merlot: With 266,000 hectares (657,300 acres) of vines spanning the planet, Merlot lands in 2nd place among all grape varietals planted in the world. Despite its inability to crack the top spot for most popular grape, it has remained under the radar performing as silent majority in the hallowed soils of its own origin, Bordeaux. Merlot is the most widely cultivated grape varietal in France, dominating the southwest regions, most notably, the Right bank. It is the body, mind and soul of some of the most collectable, influential and revered wines in the world.

Merlot has never had its time in the spotlight; nevertheless, has been quietly supplying the backbone for some of the most prominent wines in the Right Back since the 18th century. Merlot first appeared in French literature in 1784 when a French official claimed the wines produced from ‘Merlau’ (local French Dialect for Merlot) were the finest of its time. It is speculated that the name Merlot is derived from the French word, ‘Merle,’ meaning black bird. Whether the namesake is due to its small, deep black colored berries or the little black birds which had an affinity for the early ripening berries is still unknown. French researchers, using complex DNA fingerprinting technology (first developed by UC Davis) have concluded that Merlot is the offspring of French varietals, Cabernet Franc and Magdeleine Noire.

The Noble Bordeaux Varietal of Merlot thrives in its natural host on the Right Bank of the Gironde estuary, where the terroir is composed of rich clay, sand, limestone and iron deposits; and excels in temperate, Mediterranean, maritime climates. It dominates the vineyards of Pomerol and Saint Emilion, which have bred wines of unrivaled quality such as Chateau Petrus and Le Pin (both 100% Merlot). Merlot eventually infiltrated the Medoc (Left Bank) where it found similar and hospitable soils; ultimately influencing the wines produced there by helping to “soften” the varietals of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Its first appearance in America was documented in 1850 when French nurseryman, Antoine Delmas, brought French vines to the Santa Clara Valley.

Its inhabitance would inevitably spread to terroir hotspots around the world, such as Italy, Spain, Argentina, South Africa and nearly every wine-producing country in the world. The great and world-renowned Christian Mouiex inclined to state that “when the Merlot grape is planted on the proper terroir and harvested at its peak it produces a wine that is characterized as voluptuous, generous and distinctive.”

Merlot may not dwell in the spotlight, nor possess savvy titles like its relative, Cabernet Sauvignon but rather, is the blue-collar of grape varieties, laboring to produce some of the greatest wines in the world. Though Merlot was traditionally considered a secondary and blending varietal (which it is quite successful at) conversely, is quite sustainable and capable on its own. From the illustrious Chateau Petrus in Pomerol, to Pahlmeyer in the famed Napa Valley and on to the Tuscan Legend, Masseto, all of which are composed of 100% Merlot, prove the importance and resilience of the Merlot grape varietal. The magic of Merlot has entranced the world with its subtle, soft, sensuous texture and adaptability as well also its aptitude for producing wines that can age effortlessly for decades.

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