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La Massa La Massa Toscana 2019  - First Bottle


96 The Wine Independent -
This 2019 La Massa is a blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. It starts with smoke, spice and bitter cherry notes on the nose. Oak notes dominate at first but on standing it opens up to fragrant, floral notes like rose and iris. On the palate it is round and smooth but not too heavy. This is a very stylish wine that manages to balance elegance with plenty of depth of flavor, tied together with juicy acidity and fine tannins. I love the purity, brightness of this wine and the deft touch of the winemaker. There is a brilliance to the fruit and a high quality to the tannins which mark it out as something special.
94 Robert Parker's Wine Advocate -
The estate's entry-level 2019 La Massa is 50% Sangiovese and 30% Merlot, with the remaining 20% of the blend Petit Verdot and Alicante Bouschet. The wine sees mostly stainless steel, although 20% of the total finishes in barrique. Because the Sangiovese grape does not produce very dense wines, La Massa gets its dark appearance from the other grapes, especially the Alicante Bouschet. It follows that those carefully selected blending elements also contribute to the wine's juicy concentration and black fruit flavors. However, the pretty minerality you sense here and the balanced freshness certainly come from the Sangiovese. This vintage yields tight and linear results. Production was also generous in 2019, with 120,000 bottles released. This is a little masterpiece at an affordable price.
93 Vinous -
The 2019 La Massa is a very pretty wine. Crushed flowers, red berry fruit, mint, chalk and spice accents are all nicely delineated. There’s terrific energy driving the 2019. Once again, Giampaolo Motta’s Sangiovese-based blend delivers the goods.
92 James Suckling -
This has aromas of sour cherries, currants, lemon leaves and olive stones. It’s juicy and bright with a medium body and fine tannins. Savory, focused and tight finish. Better from 2023.

Technical Details

  • Blend50% Sangiovese and 30% Merlot, with the remaining 20% of the blend Petit Verdot and Alicante Bouschet.
  • CountryItaly
  • RegionTuscany
  • AppellationTuscany
  • Farming MethodSustainable
  • Alcohol13.5%
  • Production10,000 Cases cases

La Massa La Massa Toscana 2019

Super Tuscan Blends  |  Italy
TWI96, WA94, VN93, JS92

32% off retail!

"This is a little masterpiece at an affordable price.” – The Wine Advocate

Just to clarify...the “little” part of the whole “masterpiece” comparison by Wine Advocate is only referring to the price. This wine is juicy, elegant, round, and smooth – make no just so happens to be the entry-level price point for the spectacular La Massa portfolio. And what a price! 96 POINTS from Lisa Perrotti-Brown – the former top dog and Robert Parker protégé at The Wine Advocate – plus 94 and 93 points from other top critics for this sangiovese blend from the heart of Chianti is truly admirable, but to have all that praise and still come in under $25?! That’s something else entirely.

We recently visited the incredible La Massa estate in the heart of Chianti Classico – overlooking the magnificent and revered valley of Conca d’Oro in Panzano. Giampaolo Motta, or as his friends lovingly call him, “Giampagne” (the man loves his Champagne), has been 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 Panzano – Italy’s first official region to be classified as fully organic, with every last producer farming according to organic practices. 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. His vineyard land is exceptionally diverse – with three distinct soil types that are well-suited to Bordeaux varietals (and completely unique for this area of Tuscany.) His dedication to plantings of varieties like cabernet sauvignon and merlot originally drew the ire of Chianti traditionalists, but after soil studies and maps of the region were created – his brashness was vindicated. This is some of the most unique land in all of Chianti.

But Giampaolo was far from finished disrupting the status quo. 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.

This 2019 is certainly to be numbered among them, and again, for this price point – simply a tremendous achievement! Half sangiovese, followed by 30% merlot, with the rest a mix of petit verdot and alicante bouschet. This is a fantastically balanced and exceptionally pretty wine – packed with delicate floral notes of lilacs, peonies, and rose petals. The wine deepens with black cherry and red currant notes, along with plenty of spice – ranging from sandalwood to clove, allspice, and smoky cinnamon. There’s a black olive, meaty savoriness to the finish, with a volcanic earth minerality that greatly resembles Bordeaux’s right bank.

The complexity is staggering, and one that keeps us coming back to the is simply so rare to see the quality for the value metric this high for Tuscan wines of any sort. And I can report firsthand, having tasted the 1999 and 2011 vintages of this wine with “Giampagne” over lunch – these wines age better than you could imagine! We got all that we it is your turn!

PAIRING IDEAS: Giampaolo’s friend and chef from Naples made us lunch at the winery and you can’t beat his pairing – an eye of round roast beef, marinated simply in olive oil and herbs, briefly seared, and then sliced paper thin and dressed with more olive oil, some quality balsamico, and fresh black pepper and sea salt. It was perfect.

About the Producer

Get ready for an exciting journey through the world of winemaking with Giampaolo Motta! This visionary was inspired by Bordeaux and left his family's leather business in Naples to head north to Chianti and learn the art of winemaking. After honing his skills in Chianti and Bordeaux, Giampaolo finally found his true home at La Massa in the Conca d'Oro of Panzano in Chianti, where he owns 27 hectares of vineyards that have been farmed since the 15th century. He quickly gained a reputation for producing high-quality wines with his first vintage of Giorgio Primo, followed by the release of La Massa, both of which were immediately embraced by wine lovers. Fast forward to 2008 and Giampaolo teams up with his good friend and renowned winemaker Stephane Derenoncourt to take La Massa to new heights. The two practice "logical" agriculture, 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. Get ready to taste the magic of Giampaolo and Stephane's collaboration in every sip of their expertly crafted, high-quality wines. These wines embody their passion and commitment to the earth, the fruit, and the art of winemaking. Cheers!