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Decanter meets: Marco Balsimelli, production director for Ornellaia and Masseto

Decanter's regional editor for Italy travelled to Bolgheri last week to meet the new production director for Ornellaia and Masseto, Marco Balsimelli – an exclusive interview with the man who replaces Axel Heinz, and the man who hired him, Lamberto Frescobaldi.

In March 2023, Decanter reported on Axel Heinz’s departure for Château Lascombes in Bordeaux, which unintentionally kickstarted a reshuffle at Ornellaia and Masseto.

Ornellaia’s winemaker, Olga Fusari announced her intention to leave in August, lured to a new project in Bolgheri. This was followed by the announcement in September that Ornellaia’s CEO, Giovanni Geddes da Filicaja, would be retiring imminently.

This latter announcement was big news. Geddes had been the architect of not only Frescobaldi’s acquisition of Ornellaia, but also Masseto’s La Place listing (the first Italian wine to be distributed through the Bordeaux négociants), and the long-term vision to create two discrete brands from what was once the same estate (culminating in a brand new winery for Masseto in 2019).

Scroll down for tasting notes and scores for Ornellaia and Masseto

A taste of 2021 (and more):

A wet, mild winter replenished underground water reserves, which proved vital as spring was dry and summer saw periods of drought and above average temperatures.

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