2013 Casa E. di Mirafiore, Barolo DOCG, Lazzarito, Piedmonte, Italy.
The recently revived Mirafiore label, which was originally founded back in 1858 by Conte Albeto Emanuele di Mirafiore is now run by the Farinetti family, who also took over the famous Borgogno in the same year 2008, and introduced a great set Barolo wines, with myself having a couple of prior vintages recently, which were very exciting, but this 2013 Lazzarito takes it to another level! Tasted at this years Slow Wine Tasting in San Francisco, this 2013 Casa E. di Mirafiore cru Lazzarito, a vineyard site that also supplies the fabled Vietti version, is all organic and made with a nod to tradition with classic power and depth of fruit, this is a stellar Barolo that delivers stylish layers of dark cherry, damson plum, red currant and grilled orange fruit with subtle savoty/meaty sous bois, anise, iron notes and a spicy cedary tones. This wine opens up texturally and gives additional floral elements with a beautiful array of rose petals and lavender and minty herbs coming alive on the nose and the rich mouth feel making for an impressive effort, this gets more and more thrilling as it gets air in the glass. This Lazzarito delivers its unique power and grip in a poised and with a shiny brilliance, like a Grand Cru Burgundy, but with a true Nebbiolo palate and hue with a dark garnet core and a ruby/brick edge, this keeps getting better and better with every minute and sip, there’s a ton of personality and charm in this Mirafiore, it is a class act. Lazzarito wines have taken off in price in the past few years, making it one of the most coveted Crus in Barolo, much like say Chambertin Clos de Beze (is) and revered with the same sense of awe as that famous Burgundy site.

Mirafiore’s cellar is run by Danilo Drocco, an obvious talent, who follows historic Piemontese methods of winemaking here, including extra long macerations and aging in large oak casks, mostly Slovenian using only top hillside sites and small yields. Mirafiore produces a full lineup of offerings, but with a laser focus on their Barolo bottlings, though I did really also enjoy their Barbera d’Alba Superiore and I hear their Dolcetto is also excellent, I hope I get chance to try it. The selection of Baroli is mainly three versions with a value priced, though not cheap Barolo Normale (cuvee) and two Cru upper end wines, this Lazzarito and their signature Paiagallo cru, which I also enjoyed, but it was from the much lighter 2014 vintage and not as striking or complex as the 2013. The grapes come from prestigious Fontanafredda owned and farmed parcels with top terroir influence, all the vines are set on the region’s renown calcareous marl (limestone) and hard clays soils and have warm south facing exposures that allow perfect ripening and a long hang time. The Farinetti is certainly making waves in the Langhe with an incredible selection of wineries and a collection of top or elite vineyard holdings, in particular those of Borgogno and those that are used in this Casa E. di Mirafiore. This is very exciting stuff that I highly recommend finding the Nebbiolo(s), the regular Barolo at around $50 is a good deal and Barbera, with this Lazzarito, which should be coming soon, being a priority find. These 2013s should age really well, though they are generous that the statuesque 2010s and are drinking well in their youth by comparison, this one should go a long time, 10 to 15 years easy, and has a open window, so drinking it soon is still very rewarding.
($100 Est.) 95 Points, grapelive

By admin