The Massa family are a local Nice family. In the 19th century the family owned an olive oil mill in the Madeleine area of Nice on the lower eastern slopes of Bellet. In the 1920’s, a young Mr Massa fell in love with a local flower grower. They married and continued cultivating prize-winning carnations. They also grew vines, as did most in the region who were involved with agriculture. The wine was simple and fruity for home consumption and drunk within the year (before turning to vinegar). Some wines were sold to restaurants in Nice.
In the 1950’s, Massa senior advised his son Jean, to plant 1,200 vines for table grapes, but, on the advice of Jean Bagnis, he replanted with Cinsault, Folle Noir, Braquet and Grenache.
Jean Massa continued to make his wine in the traditional way, often taking the risk to harvest a little later (often in October) and not filtering the wine. All three wines were aged in oak. The white and rosés for 12-18 months in chestnut wood barrels (apparently an Italian tradition which gives a peppery character).
Jean Massa died around 5 years ago, his last vintage was around 2005.
Tasting notes 2013 written by fans of these wines in Brazil
White 2005 (Rolle) describes the wine as being ‘refreshingly floral and citric nose, resembles a Hermès perfume called Un Jardin en Méditerranée, a beauty. Very nice acidity and an almost Brezé texture. Rather saline and quite a long finish for an unpretentious wine. Delicious.’
Red 2005 Very interesting to see a Mediterranean wine with 12.5%, must be because the vines “look” at the sea. A blend of many grapes, between half and semi unknown. Garrigue and iodine. Love it!
According to some sources, Chateau de Crémât are now running the vineyard, but they have denied this (8.12.14)
Theresius and Francois Massa are now running Massa pere et fils.