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Masseto 2013 releases as one of cheapest vintages on market

Cult Italian wine Masseto has released its 2013 slightly below most of the other vintages currently on the market, report Richard Woodard and Chris Mercer.

Merchants in the UK have priced Masseto 2013 at roughly £4,000 per 12-bottle case.

In the US, it was this week available for between $600 to $700 per bottle at several retailers, in bond, according to Wine-Searcher data.

Owner Frescobaldi has been selling a portion of Masseto via the Place de Bordeaux since the 2006 vintage release in October 2009.

Its 2013 release is one of the cheapest Masseto vintages on the market, according to Liv-ex data.

On the Liv-ex trading platform, it was slightly below the 2011 and 2010, roughly level with 2012 and only the 2009 was slightly cheaper, at £3,800 per case this week.

That could see the 2013 earn attention from fine wine investors and collectors, and possibly dollar buyers looking to take advantage of a weak sterling currency and scoop stock from UK merchants and retailers.

Masseto, a Merlot dominant Tuscan IGT and in same wine family as Cabernet-led Ornellaia, has a relatively established pattern of price increases after release; unlike some of its counterparts on the Place de Bordeaux in recent years.

The 2009 has struggled for momentum, but the four preceding vintages all increased in price by double-digit percentage points five years out from release.

Vintage conditions play a part.

Tuscany’s 2013 vintage was as a relatively fresh year and Masseto 2013 is the result of an up-and-down growing season which culminated in one of the latest harvests in the wine’s history.

‘Masseto 2013 is the result of an overall late, fresh weather during the harvesting period,’ said winemaker and estate director Axel Heinz.

‘These are particularly favourable conditions for Merlot, which was able to ripen slowly and completely in sunny weather, without excessive heat.

‘These conditions enhanced full expression of the aromatic qualities and perfect ripening of the polyphenolic content.’

The vineyard lots underwent malolactic fermentation and were matured for a year in new oak barrels separately, then the final blend was put back into cask for a further year, before 12 months of bottle ageing prior to release.

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