1998, 2001, 2006 Masseto's and couple others

I know there are existing notes for most, if not all, of the wines below but I am too lazy to search for each individual one. As such, complied below are my notes from a recent OL in LA.

1990 Bollinger RD - Darker than I would expect, nose hints of slight oxidization but also one can gather deep pinot based aromas. On palate it lithe and balanced with good acidity. 90pts

2002 Girardin Le Montrachet - Again, darker than I would expect but the nose has delicate minerality intermingled with white flowers, pears and spices. Palate is rich and full with a long finish. excellent. 94pts

1998 Masseto - Decanted for approx. 4 hours. Nose and palate on this wine got better with each passing hour. The nose is intoxicating with so many nuances some which I thought were pepper, capsicum, tobacco, and sweet black fruits. Palate is rich and smooth with excellent weight on the midpalate and finish. My pick for the WOTN primarily due to it being mature at this point in time when compared to the other two. 98pts

2001 Masseto - Decanted for apporx. 1 hour. Nose is opulent, offering generous black fruits with secondary aromas missing at the moment. On the palate is where one get sense of how this wine should develop in something special. It is a hedonistic dream right now. Rich and exotic with a plush feel on the palate. I also picked up strong espresso flavors. The beauty of this wine is how it carries such power with a nonchalant attitude. The Mrs., who most folks have reminded me multiple times that she has a better palate than I, absolutely loved this wine. Thought it is the best red she has ever had. This wine also has the structure to age effortlessly for 10+ years. 95pts, for now....

2006 Masseto - this a baby, decanted for 6-7 hours, at the moment it is sappy with purple fruit and oak. Yet it is not hot or out of balance. Anyone who is lucky to have a or some bottles, don't even think about it for another 5-7 years. It has the power and structure to challenge the 01 down the road. Too young to rate.
Original Post
What a line-up!
I've never had a Masseto, but its my number 1 priority of wines to taste once in my life. To see 3 great vintages being had at one night makes me envy you....
And I think its now time to promise myself to make it happen in 2012!

So the '98 is what I should aim for?
Originally posted by Jochems:
So the '98 is what I should aim for?

Of the three opened that evening that may likely be. I truly respect Gkapoor's palate.

However, it is indeed the 1997 that I would source if I wanted to experience the finest vintage available, and ready to drink, today (IMHO). Wink
Opened a '98 Masseto last night. Tobacco, black fruit, intoxicating nose. Repeated throughout palate with gripping tannins. Still youthful and would definitely benefit from 5 or more years of cellaring. Decanted for 2 hours before dinner and changed throughout the meal. Let this baby rest if you want the full expression.
Originally posted by DoktaP:
Opened a '98 Masseto last night. Tobacco, black fruit, intoxicating nose. Repeated throughout palate with gripping tannins. Still youthful and would definitely benefit from 5 or more years of cellaring. Decanted for 2 hours before dinner and changed throughout the meal. Let this baby rest if you want the full expression.

Thanks for the note Dok as I still have a bottle left. Now all I need is willpower to keep my hands off it!
Thanks for the current TN's. I have 1 bott of the '01 and was thinking of opening it in 2015. I would love to share it with someone who can bring a good vintage of Petrus. That would be one great side by side tasting.

Interestigly, I had the opportunity to taste Masseto 2001 and Petrus 2001 in the same wine tasting, some years ago. The context was an epic Merlot challenge organized by the Associazione Italiana Sommeliers (AIS). To date, this has been the only time I had the opprtunity to taste a Petrus. Needless to say, the wines were outrageously young, the 2001 vintage was better in Tuscany than in Bordeaux, and the winemaking strategies were different, so there is no sense in making any true comparison. However, I doubt I could have the budget to attend a wine tasting with the same wines properly aged, so I'm glad I could attend to that one anyway.

From memory: not surprisingly, Masseto was showing power, energy, intensity. Like a guy who shouts, but with the voice of a great tenor. Petrus was flirting with a completely different style: souplesse, elegance, balance, not really intense yet, more like the the voice of an actor who wnows how to use his voice.

For what it's worth, the wines had been served single blind (the list of wines being known in advance), and for fun the audience voted for the WOTN before knowing who was who. Everyone in attendance was well aware of the limited meaning of this ranking though. Masseto was chosen as #1, Petrus ranked #4.

Other wines served in the tasting included:

  • Messorio Le Macchiole 1999
  • Langhe rosso Merlot Vigneto Fontanazza 2001 Roberto Voerzio
  • L’Apparita Castello di Ama 2000
  • Redigaffi Tua Rita 2001

Roberto Voerzio ranked #2, I can't recall the rest of the ranking, and can't recall my own ranking either. My overall impression was that Petrus and Voerzio had a more similar style, the Tuscan ones had another style. Among the tuscan wines, Masseto was the best one in my opinion. I appreciated both Voerzio and Petrus a lot, more or less at the same level. but to me it's basically impossible to establish a ranking between the tuscan style and the Petrus style, it's apples and oranges; moreover the wines were so young that insisting in any comparison would be obviously misleading.

For the ones who can read in Italian, an interesting tasting report is available here, written by one of the attendees. Disclaimer: I don't agree with some of his opinions (about wines done with non-autochthon grapes). He is quite dismissive about them, his opinions make sense but he goes too far in that direction IMO.

Tasting report in Italian
Originally posted by DoktaP:
If anyone is interested, we can do a similar challenge comparing predominantly merlot based wines. I can provide one of either the above mentioned wines if others are willing to contribute as well.

Name the place and time Dok, I'm in if provided some notice.
Took a cue from Gkapoor's notes above and gave a '98 Masseto a 4-hour splash decant this past Friday evening.

Paired with Short Ribs. The bottle was nothing less than stunning. While tannins were present they were at a place where they accented the wine's finish.A superb showing with an astoundingly long and pleasent finish.

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