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November 02, 2012

MASSETO! PETRUS UNDER THE TUSCAN SUN

Masseto

Petrus is the world’s benchmark for 100% Merlot based wines. It is peerless on the right bank of Bordeaux and along with Lafite Rothschild the strongest fine wine brand in the world.  Petrus produces 4,000 cases a year and come rain or shine maintains a towering average bottle price, currently £1,600. However, Italy has its own answer to Petrus, it is called Masseto, located on the Tuscan coast in Bolgeri and established by the Antinori Family, who are also responsible for Ornellaia.

Masseto is a paragon of wine making, found on the Hill of Masseto, which is about 120 metres above sea level.  Again like Petrus its clay terroir allows the soil to absorb and store water, aided further by the cool sea breeze keeping the terrain perennially cool. This allows the grapes to grow steadily, without stress, ripening fully under the warm Tuscan sun, thus ideal harmony of sugar and polyphenol ripeness.

Its parallels with Petrus continue as the estate mimics Petrus’ low yields, its 6 hectares producing a maximum of 2,000 cases a year. It is – for all intense and purposes – Petrus grown under the Tuscan sun. It is also the only Super-Tuscan released on the Place du Bordeaux through negociants and not directly to agents, selling easily as it struggles to fulfil its global demand.  We have also noticed this year increased orders from BRICS countries as new markets hear of it .It comes as no surprise therefore that Since 2008 Masseto has returned 90%.

As we have found, great Italian wines appreciate in value as they as they age and become rarer. For example the 95 point (Robert Parker) 1990 now trades at £600 a bottle, while the  94 points rated 1999 £500. The highly rated and just released 2009 received 94+ can be secured for £265 a bottle.