Robert Parker 96
There are only microscopic quantities available of this wine, so I will keep my tasting notes somewhat streamlined, even though it merits a near perfect score. The 1998 Messorio (100% Merlot) rivals some of the finest Merlots being produced anywhere in the world. Mind-blowing in its richness and intensity, it can compete with the finest wines being made on the Pomerol plateau. Representing the essence of Merlot in its concentrated jammy blackberry and cherry notes, it is a well-defined, beautifully poised effort revealing both power and elegance. Full-bodied, dense, and super-concentrated, with an incredibly long 50-second finish, it is a tour de force in winemaking that must be tasted to be believed. Anticipated maturity: 2004-2016. This is a prodigious wine. It is a shame quantities are so limited. A Leonardo Locascio Selection, Winebow, Hohokus, NJ; tel. (201) 445-0620
Anticipated maturity: 2004-2016
The 1998 is a bit of an anomalous Messorio for several reasons. For the first time the wine was aged in small 122-liter cigarillos. The estate also performed more leaf thinning than was the norm at the time. Those two decisions, coupled with a warm vintage, resulted in an opulent, port-like Messorio that stands out from every other vintage before or since. The 1998 takes some time in the glass for the bouquet to find its center. Super-ripe blueberries, blackberries, tar, licorice and smoke are just some of the nuances that flow from the sweet, textured 1998. According to Cinzia Merli, the 1998 is a vintage her late husband Eugenio adored. The 1998 expresses a style of experimentation in viticulture and winemaking that was in vogue in Italy in the late 1990s. While a notable achievement for its time, in retrospect the 1998 comes across as overdone when tasted in context of the vintages that preceded and succeeded it.
Anticipated maturity: 2013-2020