2019 Giulia Negri, Barolo DOCG “Marassio” Serradenari Cru, La Morra, Piemonte, Italy.
A truly monumental effort and with incredible structure, the Giulia Negri Marassio Barolo is a highly wound Nebbiolo that is built for aging, though with an inner beauty, depth and grace clearly woven into the fabric here, this wine is one of the best I tried in 2023 and potential perfect. While more taut and austere than the La Tartufaia and the regular Serradenari bottlings, there’s no doubt which wine rules the roost here in the talented Negri’s lineup, you’ll just have to wait a while for your rewards here. The palate takes time to open and its gripping with true Nebbiolo rustic charm, giving macerated cherry, damson plum, red currant and dark mulberry fruits, along with earthy truffle, balsamic strawberry, cedar, stony essences, minty herb and anise notes. Giulia’s graceful textural signature does come trough, even with the firm tannin here and the decanting proved highly successful in coaxing out the aromatics with rose petal and wild flowers coming alive and helping seduce the senses in a profound way, there’s no obvious mark downs and the length and lingering finish is otherworldly, this Marassio is worth every penny. The Marassio comes from, as importer Kermit Lynch explains, a Western exposition sub-parcel at 520 meters (1,706 feet) above sea level, a selection from the Marassio, set on clay, loam and limestone at the very highest part of the Serradenari cru, which sees a cooler influence and exceptional long hang times, that helps build depth and tannin.

Giulia Negri, who took over her family’s winery at just 24, is a rising star in the Langhe and deserves some healthy respect for what she’s achieved so far, but she’s far from done yet and the potential is off the charts for her label, especially after tasting her latest set of Barolo bottlings. It was great to meet Giulia Negri and taste her wines at the Kermit Lynch 50th Anniversary Portfolio tasting in San Francisco late last year, with her talents really showing in her set of Nebbiolo wines, especially her gorgeous 2019 Barolo offerings, which I have mentioned in my earlier reviews. As noted, the vineyards are practicing organic since 2014, and now certified, with Negri putting a lot attention to her vines, which are mostly at high elevation within La Morra, the highest point in Barolo, and the Serradenari cru with this parcel planted in 2004 and 2006. The Barolo’s grapes saw a long, 40 day maceration and fermentation in large conical wood vats. After fermentation, the wine was pressed off and racked to big Slavonian oak barrels where it was matured for 30 months, after which it was bottled unfiltered and rested in cellar before release. I was incredibly impressed, as mentioned, with the set of new releases from Negri from her Langhe Nebbiolo to her single parcel Marassio Barolo, and I highly recommend this very gifted winegrower to the serious Nebbiolo enthusiasts and I would add there is that something extra here with her wines that give me that same thrill I experience when having a top notch Grand Cru Burgundy, like Rousseau’s Clos de la Roche! Kermit Lynch adds, there’s a devout respect for tradition that already places her wines among the region’s classics, which is high praise indeed, and I agree completely.
($165 Est.) 98 Points, grapelive

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