Masseto 2013 prepares to hit the market

The 2013 vintage of Masseto, soon to be released, was one of the latest harvests on record but one that was particularly favourable for Merlot.

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A cool and wet start to 2013 delayed the budding by some 15 days and this was further compounded by a cool and rainy spring, which led to an irregular and unusually long flowering period.

With the crop already reduced and grape development uneven the arrival of more summery weather towards the end of June was a welcome relief. The hottest temperatures were recorded in July and August which brought on the ripening, while some late summer storms saw temperatures drop at night to the benefit of the final wine’s aromatic expression.

The harvest began later than normal on 12 September in the ‘Masseto Alto’ parcel and concluded on 25 September in ‘Masseto Centrale’ – all under sunny skies.

Vinification was straightforward. After sorting the four parcels were all vinified separately, fermentation was in stainless steel or wooden vats with maceration taking 15-20 days at temperatures between 25° centigrade and 30°. Malolactic fermentation took place in 100% new oak and kept separate for a further 12 months. The final blend was then put together and the wine allowed to marry for a further 12 months in barrel.

The wine was then aged a further 12 months in bottle prior to its release.

Axel Heinz, winemaker and estate director of Masseto, said: “Masseto 2013 is the result of an overall late, fresh weather during the harvesting period. These are particularly favorable conditions for Merlot, which was able to ripen slowly and completely in sunny weather, without excessive heat. These conditions enhanced full expression of the aromatic qualities and perfect ripening of the polyphenolic content.

“Intense ruby in colour, the nose immediately reveals fully ripe fruitiness endowed with great freshness and complexity, underlined by delicate notes of vanilla and cocoa. On the palate, the wine is substantial and rich, with great density, and a rare tannic quality of silkiness and smoothness. Black fruit aromas are accompanied by a strong note of freshness and a long, elegant finish, which is prolonged with a delicate hint of cocoa”.

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