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Massolino “Parussi” Barolo 2016

Nebbiolo from Castiglione Falletto, Piedmont, Italy

$214

$207ea in any 3+
$200ea in any 6+
Closure: Cork

Description

Shifting to the northern reaches of Castiglione Falleto. Here there is different shape to the fruit and tannins. More immediate generosity of red fruits and bold tannins in the front to mid-palate. We’re celebrating the difference between Serralunga and the northern reaches of Falletto. The fading flowers, offer up savouriness over floral. Again Massolino has offered up a beautifully composed expression of a Cru vineyard. Yet again 2016 has produced another wine with wonderfully layered tannins.


The 2016 Barolo Parussi is the most overt and fruity of the 2016s. That is not a bad thing at all, as it gives the wine striking immediacy and mid-palate sweetness. Succulent red and purplish berry fruit, spice and mint come together in the glass. Silky, floral and medium in body, the Parussi captures all of the sensuality that is typical of the Barolos of Castiglione Falletto. Best of all, the Parussi will drink well earlier than the wines from Serralunga will.

Galloni

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Why is this Wine so Yummy?

Check out all of our wines from Massolino

The first time I tasted Massolino’s wines was amongst 10 Baroli from the 2004 vintage devoured in 2015. The Massolino’s sat firmly in the good half. The standard Barolo was a stunner. The Massolino Dieci Anni (10 years) Vigna Rionda Riserva was a revelation. Only released in the best years it was superb. Balanced, complex, so inviting.


Some exciting news for the future, Massolino now have agreements to access some quality Barbaresco fruit, including from the vineyard of Starderi. If Olek Bondonio’s 2016 Starderi is anything to go by, we’re in for some fun starting 2022!


Wine Decoded’s Chief Wine Hacker – Paul Kaan’s Thoughts on the 2016’s

The 2016’s area great set of wines. Just like the 2015’s, the quality in the DOCG Barolo or Normale alone is exceptional. The 3 Cru’s are stunners. 3 unique personalities. All with great complexity and layering. The wines are elegant, sophisticated, with entrancing perfumes and the tannin profiles of each are individual. The vibrancy and energy of the wines with their trademark line and length of acid shines through. Giovanni raises such well rounded harmonious wines. Almost Burgundian in nature. 2016 overlays added line and length, and those 2016 tannins. Wonderful shape to all the wines.

Barolo – An excellent Classico from Massolino with 2016 tannins shinning through with line and length on a core of fruit with great density and length. Red cherry with bags of sophistication in the shape of the palate both fruit and tannins. The tannins are bold and of exceptional quality. Very together and energetic, it draws you in on both nose and palate. There is a lot going on here. This will undoubtedly deliver loads more over time.

Margheria – Those 2016 tannins from Serralunga are just divine. They demand time. Their quality is clear. The sophistication of this wine is palpable, this is the very definition for the iron fist in the velvet glove. It just builds and build after swallowing as the tannins subside a complex suite of red fruit wrapped in baking spice, rose, earth, a hint of blood orange and yet more flowers powers through.

Parafada – What a celebration of site in comparison with the Margheria. Here we see more overt concentration, darkness, a density of fruit that as a young wine carries the tannins of the year more easily than the Margheria (yet it is clear all will come together with just a little time for the Margheria). Yet for all the calls of concentration, there is a sophistication in how this comes together with layer after layer of flavours coming through. Like the Magheria your left with a core of complex flavours finishing. The dark fruits with liquorice, those baking spice and more coming through. Exceptional.

Parussi – Shifting to the northern reaches of Castiglione Falleto. Here there is different shape to the fruit and tannins. More immediate generosity of red fruits and bold tannins in the front to mid-palate. We’re celebrating the difference between Serralunga and the northern reaches of Falletto. The fading flowers, offer up savouriness over floral. Again Massolino has offered up a beautifully composed expression of a Cru vineyard. Yet again 2016 has produced another wine with wonderfully layered tannins.

About Massolino

Founded in 1896, Massolino Winery, is based in and around the town of Serralunga, one of the prime sub-zones of the Barolo DOC.

The Massolino family’s greatest asset is of course their 23 hectares of (mostly) Serralunga vineyards, including choice parcels of such famous sites as; Margheria, Parafada and the legendary Vigna Rionda. We say ‘mostly’ as the Massolino clan recently purchased a slice of the Parussi cru in Castiglione Falletto. Serrralunga, on the eastern edge of the Barolo DOCG, produces some of most profound and long lived Barolo. It is the home of great names such as Giacomo Conterno and Bruno Giacosa’s Falletto vineyard. The wines often have an extra stuffing of intense Nebbiolo fruit as well as a remarkable minerality that plays on both the freshness of the tannins and gives the wines a certain ferrous edge when young.

It is fair to say that Massolino holds the most remarkable collection of vineyards in Serralunga, amongst the smaller, quality focused producers anyway. The quality strides at this estate over the last 10-15 years have been remarkable with significant advances made, particularly in the vineyards. Certainly there has also been refinements in the cellars, firstly by Franco Massolino and then by current winemaker Giovanni Angeli (ex Vajra) who has been working with Franco since the 2005 harvest. As always however, it has been the work in the vineyards and the search for expressive and perfectly ripe fruit that has driven the rise in quality at this estate. The resultant improvement here has been very good news for both the commune and Barolo in general. Today the wines of Massolino sit comfortably among the finest of the region – they are wines of wonderful purity and elegance. They are exclusively aged in large casks, so they are ‘traditional’ and yet they offer the best of the “old” and “new” worlds: pure, aromatic, textural, deeply flavoured wines that are at the same time precise, vibrant and distinctly regional. These are wines that score extremely highly on our deliciousness scale. Equally important, these wines are remarkably well priced when compared to the other top producers of the area.

About the 2016 Massolino Vintage

2016 has come at just the right time. We have a number of winemakers with incredible experience and wine wisdom. The vineyards in Barolo are in the best condition they’ve been in with incredible detail going into their care.

Combined we have a situation where vignerons are in the best possible position to make the most of the great fruit yielded by the 2016 harvest!

When you compare the 2015 & 2016 vintages you see the difference between a warmer vintage with a shorter ripening period and a cooler one with the longest ripening period in memory.

Nebbiolo responds beautifully to a cooler longer ripening. Once it reaches sugar level high enough to make a wine around 14-14.5% alcohol the sugar levels stop increasing, it tends to hold its acid and the tannins so important to the insane mouthfeel of Nebbiolo ripen and increase in depth.

Such vintages tend to offer wines with more perfume, energy, and, vitality.

“Massolino turned out set of striking Barolos in 2016. The wines are vibrant and super-expressive of site. In recent years, the Massolinos have moved towards gentler winemaking, which really allows the purity of the fruit, while retaining the classic style the estate is known for. Readers will also want to be on the lookout for the 2014 Barolo Riserva Vigna Rionda, one of the great wines of that year, but also one of the most profound Riondas Massolino has made to date.” Antonio Galloni, vinous.com

🎧 Listen as Giovanni introduces the Wines and Vineyards

Recorded during Giovanni’s last visit to Australia. He shared his insights of the 2015 Barolos. Although the 2016’s will undoubtedly reflect the differences in the vintage, the discussion remains relevant.

2017 Langhe Nebbiolo & 2015 Barolo DOCG


Langhe Nebbiolo is a combination of younger vines where root penetration is less deep and they have less access to water and microelements that are important for the quality of fruit. DOCG fruit that hasn’t reached appropriate quality to move into DOCG. Soils for the vineyards supplying these wine are good for water retention for vine growth and acid retention for wine balance. Langhe Nebbiolo sees 1 year in large casks up to 10,000L. Large cask size helps the wines retain freshness and does not impart any oak character. Classic Barolo, warm dry summer, with good water availability from the good winter snow providing water reserves. Early picking 29 September, normally, mid-October. They had phenolic ripeness, good sugar and fruit.

Using shorter maceration to retain finesse and balance. Gentler handling of the fruit. Have introduced oak fermenters for fermentation, providing micro-oxygenation to stabilise tannins. We have explored this in the Wine Decoded Bathtub Wineamaking Project.

2015 Cru’s Magheria, Parafada and Parussi


In the Vineyards

Detailed viticulture has become much more the norm over the last few decades. The efforts in the vineyards making them more sustainable with chemical usage dropping. In response to a warming climate many practices are employed to help water retention in the soils and additional of natural nutrients. Mustard cover crops with deep root penetration help oxygen and water make its way into the subsoil. Pea add nitrogen. Candling or wrapping of the excess shoot growth instead of mechanical trimming, giving the vines a hair cut, helps with water and acid retention. In turn the acid retention helps keep fruit flavours fresh. Combined this making wines that are much more approachable in their youth yet still have great ageing potential.

Overall seeking a more balanced vineyard to give more balanced wine.

Margheria – Serralunga. Atypical Serralunga soil. Less clay, a little more sand. Makes for a wine that is much more expressive and approachable even at release. Giovanni suggests it is more similar to the wines of western Barolo with softer tannins.

Parafada – Serralunga. Soil with lots of clay and more compact soil. Typically shows much of tannin and masculinity. More typical of Serralunga. Giovanni feels the vines have really found a balance over the last few years and the resulting wines are good drinking even in the first few years.

Parussi – Castiglione Falleto. From the north side. Lighter soil with less clay and more limestone, silt and sand. Tannins are raw and rustic in the beginning and take more time for the tannins to become as elegant as the tannins of Serralunga.

2013 Vigna Rionda


Incredible variation in aspect over short distances across Serralunga. This results in the possibility for diversity of styles across the region. Vigna Rionda is one of the special sites, very complex soils, Giovanni considers 2013 a classical vintage similar to those both the 1990’s. Cooler vintage than 2015. Long slow maturation. A short winter resulted in earlier bud-burst, a long slow maturation, cooler temperatures offering more rustic tannins. Nebbiolo finished picking on the 5th of November 2-3 weeks after normal. The rustic tannins demanded additional oak maturation. Extending from the typical 3½ years to 5 years in oak to achieve balance and integration between acidity and tannins. 2013 will overall requires a little more time.

2006 short and dry with little water available. Vines were stressed for a few days. Wine is very concentrated, powerful and rich. Typical of a vintage when vines are stressed. In these circumstance, vines produce polyphenols to rippen seeds to reproduce and survive. 2006 Barolo are very rich in polyphenols (tannins). Normally 3-3.5 grams per liter polyphenols in 2006 levels reached 6g/L.

2001 perfect weather conditions, good water reserves, no temperature peaks. Picked by 15 October. Very complete wines, good power, great acidity, fresh and vibrant with fine and elegant tannins.

Where in the World are Massolino’s Vineyards?

If you have a Barolo MGA 360º subscription check out the Parussi Cru in exceptional detail.

Click to go to the Parussi Cru on Barolo MGA 360º
Massolino Cru Map. Click to Enlage 🔎
95 Points

The 2016 Barolo Parussi is the most overt and fruity of the 2016s. That is not a bad thing at all, as it gives the wine striking immediacy and mid-palate sweetness. Succulent red and purplish berry fruit, spice and mint come together in the glass. Silky, floral and medium in body, the Parussi captures all of the sensuality that is typical of the Barolos of Castiglione Falletto. Best of all, the Parussi will drink well earlier than the wines from Serralunga will.

Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media

95 Points

Pipe-tobacco, scorched earth and underbrush aromas mingle with whiffs of camphor and dark-skinned berry on this full-bodied red. It's firmly structured, featuring raspberry compote and licorice flavors framed in assertive, close-grained tannins that grip the finish. Youthfully austere and tightly wound, it needs several more years to fully integrate. Drink 2026–2046.

Kerin O'Keefe

Where in the world does the magic happen?

Massolino

Castiglione Falletto
Piedmont
Italy