2013 Massolino, Barolo DOCG, Piedmonte, Italy.
Tucked between the legendary and tight 2010 and the exceptional 2016 vintages, these 2013s are not getting the credit they deserve and are proving to be absolutely delicious Barolo and outstanding drinkers, especially wines like this basic Massolino Barolo, which is quite impressive and opening up nicely with classic Nebbiolo highlights and depth of flavors. The deep crimson/garnet and brick 2013 Massolino starts with earth, game and seeped rose petals with brambly fruits that include plum, cherry, raspberry and mulberry on framed by structural tannin and a cut of natural acidity, though there is a hedonistic sense of ripe lushness and the palate expands warmly and with full bodied richness. There is a back ground of wild herbs, mineral and leather, it lingers with kirsch, anise and chalky stones. This wine is made using traditional Barolo methods with fermentation and maceration lasting about 15 days at warm temperatures and it is aged 30 months in large oak cask, plus as the winery notes, bottles are left to mature in a special dark, cool cellar for just over a year before release.

The history of the estate is very extensive and the Massolino family and their wines have became legends within the region, they are based in the commune of Serralunga d’Alba and have been since 1896, when Giovanni Massolino founded the estate. He was noted for being enterprising, tenacious, and creative, interestingly it was Giovanni that first brought electricity to the village. Giovanni’s son, Giuseppe, built the original Massolino cellar, expanded their holdings to include some of the areas best terroir and in 1934 founded the Consortium for the Defence of Barolo and Barbaresco, passionately dedicated to quality. More recently, in the 1990s, Franco and Roberto Massolino, both oenologists, joined the family estate and brought even greater fame with a series of spectacular Barolo from the cru Vigna Rionda and have continued that level ever since. While mainly a Barolo estate Massolino also, like La Spinetta do fabulous Barbera and a fine semi sweet Moscato d’Asti that is a lovely treat. This 2013 Barolo will go another 15 to 20 years easy, but can be really enjoyed now, in particular with rustic and robust cuisine, it also represents a nice value, as you can find it in the States under 50 dollars.
($48 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive

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