- Blend100% Sangiovese
- WinemakerGiampaolo Motta
- VineyardVineyard No. 6
- OakFrench oak tonneaux
La Massa Carla 6 Toscana 2019
Giampaolo Motta may be known as a Bordeaux variety specialist in Tuscany, but his work here with a single plot of Tuscan’s favorite son, sangiovese, is truly out of this world! 97 POINTS, and we’re the first shop in the USA to have this stunning new release!
Giampaolo Motta is the visionary behind La Massa since its founding in 1992. He left the family’s leather goods business in Naples and ventured to Chianti to learn the art of winemaking. He developed a love for Bordeaux wines and journeyed there to further hone his craft before purchasing the 27 hectares of La Massa in the Conca d’Oro of Panzano in Chianti. The land here had been farmed to vines since the 15th century, and the earliest wines of La Massa brought this property back to prominence almost immediately. But Giampaolo was far from finished. He joined up with an old friend from Bordeaux, the legendary Stephane Derenoncourt (whose consulting resume includes Clos Fourtet, Clos de l'Oratoire, Chateau Pavie-Macquin, Smith Haut Lafitte, Napa’s Rubicon Estate, and more...) beginning in 2008 to take the winemaking to the next level. And that has certainly been the case – with the best wines of the estate’s history coming over the past decade.
While best known for his Super-Tuscan blends – the estate’s torchbearer “La Massa” and their grand vin, “Giorgio Primo” – this “Carla 6” was born from Giampaolo and Stephane’s desire to showcase a Tuscan icon – the local sangiovese grape. It was a sizeable task, as much of their combined winemaking experience was forged in Bordeaux, and prior attempts to make sangiovese according to those principles were, let’s say, less than successful. The key revelation that allowed this wine to be born turned out to be the barrels themselves. Giampaolo explains "Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon need barrique, but Sangiovese reveals its identity with bigger barrels," and it seems that slight but important difference is at the genesis of this wine.
Hailing from a single, 1.5 hectare vineyard plot, and grown on a unique substrate of gray schist and sand, this 100% sangiovese showcases an incredible expression of sangiovese – one in which texture and minerality is every bit the driving force behind this wine, and not simply the grape’s unique flavor profile that is so quintessentially Tuscany. Stephane and Giampaolo practice "logical" agriculture here and across the estate, using sustainable methods such as green manure, "sexual confusion" as a pesticide, and minimal use of chemicals. In the winery, they utilize natural yeasts and minimal sulfurs to preserve the ecological balance of La Massa.
The fruit undergoes the entirety of primary fermentation in stainless steel tanks, followed by maturation in large oak tonneaus for two years, with a finish that is carried out over 12 months in concrete vats, before bottle conditioning for an additional 12 months prior to release. This beauty just landed in our warehouse, and it is everything the critics say...and more! Red cherries and currants, spice accents of clove, pink peppercorn, and toasted coriander seeds, with wafts of smoldering sage, and an elegant dash of balsamic. The wine is carried atop a deep, mineral-driven spine of scorched earth, iron ore, and crushed granite – whether from the soil or the makers’ love for Bordeaux – or both – I couldn’t say. The result is quite impressive – generous yet powerful, with plenty of acidity, structure, and overall weight to develop in the cellar, yet enough plush friendliness to be enjoyed in its youth. 97 points for a wine of this quality, at the price we have today...just another Tuscan great to add to my growing collection!