Robert Parker 98
This is a brilliant effort, rivaling the finest made not only in Italy, but also in France and the United States. Quantities are very limited for the Merlot from the Messorio vineyard. Approximately 40-50 cases will be available, but production is expected to increase slightly in future vintages. The purpose of writing about it is so Wine Advocate subscribers can get a head start as this will certainly become one of the great new wines of Italy. The awesome 1997 Merlot Messorio is truly prodigious. Black/purple-colored, it boasts an astonishingly rich nose of black raspberries, smoky new oak, dried herbs, and cedar. Chocolate, new saddle leather, and exhilarating levels of black fruits give this wine a luxurious, voluptuous texture. The finish lasts for nearly a minute! A wine-making tour de force that is already accessible given its expansive, open-knit texture, it should last for 12-15+ years. A Leonardo Locascio Selection, Winebow, Hohokus, NJ; tel. (201) 445-0620
Anticipated maturity: 1999-2014
The 1997 Messorio is quite marked by the vintage. Firm, powerful tannins still prevail in this youthful, virile Messorio. After having tasted the 1994 and 1995 it is frankly a bit difficult for the palate to grasp the 1997. This is a wine with a brilliant future. I suspect the 1997 will always show a slight edginess to its tannin that is consistent with a hot year, but this is nevertheless a hugely impressive wine that is sure to deliver considerable pleasure to those who can wait.
Anticipated maturity: 2015-2027