2016 is a textbook year for the Masseto, with a typically Tuscan coastal climate which saw a dry and sunny vegetative season, with abundant sunshine and the right one amount of rain for perfect ripeness. 2016 presents itself with a particular color intense and young, the intense aroma of ripe dark fruit blends with subtle cocoa notes spices. On the palate, the rich and dense structure of ripe and silky tannins is balanced by a fruity note sensual and vibrant and with a lively acidity that keeps the long finish clean and full-bodied.
100 Points - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate 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.
100 Points - James Suckling 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.
100 Points - Jeb Dunnuck Not yet released, the 2016 Masseto is sensational and unquestionably one of the greatest expressions of Merlot in the world. As always, it's 100% Merlot from a single vineyard that has a complex, diverse set of soils and expositions, causing harvest at times to be spread over as much as three weeks. Aged two years in oak, its deep purple color is followed by a powerful bouquet of black cherries, cassis, spicy oak, damp earth, green tobacco, and spring flowers. It's full-bodied, concentrated and masculine on the palate, with serious minerality, yet it stays flawlessly balanced with magical purity of fruit. With no shortage of concentration and structure, this primordial powerhouse of a Merlot needs 4-6 years of bottle age yet should evolve for decades. Merlot, or wine for that matter, doesn’t get any better!
98 Points - Decanter In the hard-fought rivalry between the 2015 and 2016 vintages in Bolgheri, Merlot grapes add their own weight to the discussion. In this more balanced vintage, this variety had at least two advantages: more refined aromas due to night and day temperature variations, and more complexity due to a longer season. Indeed, the main character of this Masseto is a lower pH and almost tingling acidity. Its cardinal red colour increases the solemnity of the tasting. It's polished on the nose, with a fruit character ranging between cherry and cassis, integrated with straw, pipe tobacco, clove, white chocolate, the first signs of some mint, and earthy notes in depth. The refined palate is dominated by the elegant and refreshing acidity, balancing the 15% alcohol, with obviously ripe, velvety tannins and a mineral graphite aftertaste. It comes really close to the outstanding 2006 Masseto, possibly due to the older age of the vines.
97 Points - Wine Spectator 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.
95 Points - Wine Enthusiast Subtle aromas of underbrush, cedar, camphor and cassis waft out of the glass along with a whiff of blue flower. The firmly structured, full-bodied palate offers dried cherry, black currant jam, grilled sage and espresso alongside tightly-knit close-grained tannins. You’ll also notice the warmth of evident alcohol on the close but the rich fruit stands up to it.