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Vinification and Ageing

 
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Once in the winery: rigor and attention to detail

Masseto’s grapes undergo a double selection, before and after destemming. Virtually each single berry is carefully controlled as it progresses slowly on the inspection conveyor and discarded if not perfect for making its way into the fermentation tanks. At this point the grapes advance into the cuverie, where the ultimate technology of steel joins forces with the tradition of wood.
The fermentation takes place in state of the art stainless steel tanks which allow perfect temperature control. During this phase, the fermentation progress of each single tank representing a given vineyard block, is methodically followed by daily individual tastings.

“Such “tailored vinifications“ allow us to perfectly secure and control the most loyal expression of character as given by each part or plot in Masseto vineyard: power and structure from the “Masseto Centrale“ the more refined, and more ridged character from “Masseto Alto“, and softness and warmth from “Masseto Junior“.

To this end, the fermentation temperatures, number of pump-over, and even the length of maceration on the skins can vary from base wine to base wine and from year to year.”
comments winemaker Axel Heinz.


When ageing is much more than just waiting

After their birth in tanks, the numerous base wines will start their Ageing still as individual “babies“ in the barrique. Here again is a time for choice regarding length of ageing: wood can either dominate, hide or transform a wine or else serve it, by respecting and enhancing its own personality.
Which wood will best express and respect Masseto’s character? First we look for oak with the finest possible grain, essentially from the forest of Massif Central in France. Then we want a medium toasting so to fully respect Masseto&rsquo enchanting fruit and to enhance both its structure and its elegance.

When Masseto becomes Masseto. Passion, taste and poetry of the Winemaker

Afterwards will come the crucial time when the different base wines of Masseto will be assembled to form Masseto. This is perhaps the most important and thrilling decision for the winemaker, Axel Heinz, to make.
The objective is to express both the unmistakable personality of Masseto and the specific character of the vintage.
To harmoniously combine the many facets given by each individual plot and to reflect both the essence of the terroir with that of the specific vintage. It is like writing a new chapter of the same book, or composing a new concert by the same author: a new creation in the same spirit.
This is not easy task but how fascinating and engaging! Just think of how the Masseto aficionados will expect, judge, and hopefully acclaim this new interpretation of a character which they recognize and have grown to love.

“Not every base wine born in the Masseto vineyard qualifies to remain Masseto, says winemaker Axel Heinz, who continues: "and those which are discarded are either for disappointing performance throughout successive tastings or more simply for not fitting in proper harmony with the other wines selected."

Then more Patience and , again, more attention…

After blending, Masseto returns to the barriques for a second year of aging, during which it is disturbed as little as possible. Periodic checks, and that's it. Let time perfect man’s work!

One more decision though before bottling is whether or not to clarify the wine. Is it necessary to smooth over some tannic roughness? Sometimes yes, but not at the expense of balance. What matters here is to preserve Masseto's ample, rich personality to its fullest extent.

And here again, the decision is always made by… the wine itself, and that is after repeated tastings!

The wine then finally reaches the bottling line, whose high speed is able to insure uniform quality from the first to the last bottle.

From the beginning of the harvest to the release of Masseto, three intense years
pass, marked by respect of nature and time, constant and obsessive attention, and carefully thought-out decisions.
Copyright 2018 - Masseto