Product information

Masseto 2016

Merlot from Bolgheri, Tuscany, Italy


Closure: Cork


An insane wine 100% Merlot, it’s typically massive a powerful wine for those that love the big and bold. Masseto is the brutish master of the estate.

It took a long time for the Italians to get their heads around growing & making Bordeaux varieties.

When they get it right, they really get it right! These guys know what they’re doing!

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Check out all of the wines by Masseto

Why is this Wine so Yummy?

Tenuta dell’Ornellaia is the brainchild of Lodovico Antinori, who founded this gorgeous, sprawling estate in Tuscany’s Maremma in 1981. Vines were planted in 1982 and the first vintages were overseen by the legendary oenologist and winemaker Andre Tchelistcheff. Today Ornellaia is owned by the Frescobaldi family, but like all of the Frescobaldi properties, it is run independently. The estate produces a wide range of wines, from the entry-level Le Volte to the super-premium Merlot Masseto.

Ornellaia is a Bordeaux-inspired Cabernet Sauvignon-based blend, while Masseto is 100% Merlot made from a few select blocks on the large, sprawling property. In recent years, the estate has worked towards the goal of establishing Ornellaia and Masseto as two separate wineries. For that reason, Ornellaia and Masseto are very rarely shown together.

James Suckling’s Winery of the Decade

The 2016 Vintage at Ornellaia & Masseto

As what seems to be becoming increasingly the norm, the winter of 2016 was characterized by abnormally warm weather with heavy rainfall in February. Budbreak took place on time in the last week of March. The abundance of water in the soil and the warm weather in April led to quick and normal vegetative vine growth. Towards May temperatures returned to normal, slowing the growth down slightly, bringing about the flowering which took place in the last week of May with dry sunny weather, perfect for a good fruit-set. The summer was within the norm with very little rain favouring a notable water stress towards the end of the ripening stage. The usual August holiday period storms were also absent, maintaining a state of hydric stress through the first part of the harvest, but luckily with temperatures that significantly cooled off at night, allowing the vines to recover from the daytime temperatures. Ripening went on steadily building up excellent phenolic potential and a balanced sugar/acidity ratio. Harvest started early on the 24th August with young vine Merlot. By mid- September a few rain showers arrived, that allowed to complete harvest under virtually perfect conditions, sunny, but moderately warm, and enough water in the soil to prevent the vines from shutting down. Harvest was concluded on the 12th of October with the last Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot.


The clusters were hand-picked into 15 kg boxes and then selected by hand on a double sorting table, before and after destemming, and finally softly crushed. In 2016, optical sorting has been introduced in addition to manual selection, in order to further increase the quality of selection. Each grape variety and single vineyard block was vinified separately. Fermentation took place in stainless steel and concrete tanks at temperatures between 26-30°C for two weeks, followed by 10-15 days of maceration on the skins. The malolactic fermentation took place mainly in oak barrels, 70% new and 30% once-used. The wine then remained in barriques, in Ornellaia’s temperature- controlled cellars for about 20 months. After the first 12 months of maturation, the wine was assembled and then returned to the barriques for an additional 8 months. After bottling, the wine aged a further 12 months prior to release.

“2016 represents another immensely successful vintage highlighting all the virtues of Bolgheri’s climate: abundant sunshine, without excessive heat, a dry summer to allow the grapes to achieve perfect ripeness and concentration, and just about enough rain to avoid stress. All these elements combine to yield a wine that shows lush ripeness and crisp firmness, opposing forces creating a sense of dense raciness we like to describe as “tension”.”

Axel Heinz – Estate Director

The following series of vineyards takes you from vineyard, through winemaking during vintage, and, maturation and blending. They generally apply to both Ornellaia and Masseto.

Where in the World is Ornellaia & Masseto?

Ornellaia & Masseto are in the Bolgheri DOC due west of Sienna close to the coast.

100 Points

This is so solid and powerful with incredible vertical dense that goes down and down on the palate. Compacted and thick with caressing and polished tannins that are powerful yet refined. Super concentration yet agile and energetic. This is a wine that needs time to come together and resolve all of its amazing components. Reminds me of the legendary 2001. Try after 2023. (6/2019)

James Suckling

100 Points

Masseto has pulled off back-to-back home runs. This is the first time that an Italian wine has earned 100 points in successive vintages. The 2016 Masseto is a thunderstorm of emotions, but it manages to keep them under perfect control. Like the 2015 Masseto before it, this vintage is a seamless wine of the highest pedigree. It represents an encore performance, continuing the string of successes that is bringing Italy to the forefront of the wine world. The first thing you'll notice is the thickness and concentration of the fruit that makes an immediate impact on all the senses, in terms of appearance, aroma and mouthfeel. There is no overstating the sheer power and richness of this iconic vintage of Italy's groundbreaking Merlot. Despite that considerable mass, this Masseto remains delicate and graceful. You gain better perspective as the wine opens in the glass and reveals deeper layers that were not immediately apparent on first nose: dark fruit, spice, sweet tobacco and black cherry. There is great tightness and laser focus to the fruit. I tasted the 2016 and 2015 vintages together for comparison when I scored this wine, and then I tasted this 2016 edition alone about a month later to confirm my impressions. These vintages are identical twins, two perfect wines. ML (4/2019)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

97 Points

A flashy style, featuring concentrated yet fluid flavors of blackberry, plum, violet, cedar and iron, wrapped in toasty, vanilla-scented oak. The acidity is vibrant and refined, but dense tannins provide support as this cruises to a long finish. Best from 2022 through 2045. BS (9/2019)

Wine Spectator

94-97 Points

The 2016 Masseto is finishing its aging in barrel. Dark, sumptuous and super-expressive, the 2016 has so much to offer. Expressive aromatics, silky tannins and layered of dark, resonant fruit are some of the signatures. All the elements simply fall into place in a Masseto endowed with terrific balance and class. AG (3/2019)

Vinous (Barrel Sample)

Where in the world does the magic happen?

Masseto, Via Bolgherese, Castagneto Carducci, Province of Livorno, Italy